It will be recalled that the judge had on December 13, 2017, ordered that Okonkwo be sworn-in as a senator representing Anambra central senatorial district and also ordered INEC to issue him a certificate of return.
Justice John Tsoho yesterday vacated his earlier judgment in a ruling he delivered on an application seeking the setting aside of his December 13, 2017 consent judgment on the grounds that the court was misled by the plaintiff in securing the consent judgment.
He also took judicial notice of three earlier judgements from the Court of Appeal, ordering INEC to conduct a rerun election for the Senatorial District within 90 days.
But INEC, through its lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had filed a motion before the court contending that the court lacked the powers to order it to issue Certificate of Return to Okonkwo, when the Court of Appeal, which is higher in hierarchy, had earlier made definite orders that a fresh election should be conducted.More news: What Makes Intrepid Potash Inc (IPI) A Compelling Stock?
According to Tsoho, in the doctrine of precedence, Court of Appeal decisions takes precedence over decisions of any lower court.
This paves the way for the re-run election holding today in the district.
Justice Tsoho explained that the consent judgment is not on merit and can not stop his court from assuming jurisdiction.
He noted that since his party, the PDP was a party to the suits; it implied that he, (Okonkwo) was also a party.More news: Pretium Resources Inc. (PVG) In State to Counters Short-Term Obligation
According to the judge, John Tsoho, the judgement which was strongly relied upon by Okonkwo's lawyer, can not be regarded as a final judgment on the matter.
He also ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to "forthwith" swear in Okonkwo, and whereby the Certificate of Return had earlier been issued anyone, such should be withdrawn and issued to Okonkwo. "Consequently, this suit is adjourned indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeals filed by the PDP at the Supreme Court". If the consent judgment of this court is at variance with the decisions of the Court of Appeal, it is bound to be declared a nullity.
The court further held that the decision of the Court of Appeal which had ordered a rerun election for the Senatorial zone within 90 days, being a superior court of record, was binding on the court.
He, therefore, disagreed with Okonkwo that he was not a party to the Appeal Court case.More news: City services, facilities affected by Martin Luther King Jr. Day
"The court today, based its decision on the Court of Appeal decision, in a post-election matter, wherein Senator Uche Ekwunife was disqualified on grounds that she was not the duly nominated candidate of PDP, and ordered for fresh elections".