The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, August 8, has ordered Nigeria's inspector general of police to arrest and bring the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, to court for refusing to obey a valid order court, Independent Newspaper reports.
Justice Stephen Pam had on July 5 ordered Yakubu to appear before him to prove why he should not be sent to prison for contempt of court but five days later, on July 10 when the court sat again, Mahmood did not show up with his counsel, Mr Adeboyega Awomolo.
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Consequently, on August 1, he ordered the arrest of the INEC boss for failing to appear in court for the third time and asked the police to effect the arrest immediately.
The news outlet reports further that Goddy Uche, counsel to the plaintiff, had earlier told the court that the INEC chairman had blatantly refused to obey an order of court summoning him to appear in court.
As a result of this, Justice Pam was said to have demanded to know from counsel to the INEC chairman, Adegboyega Awomolo, why Prof Mahmood was not in court.
In his reply, Awomolo was quoted to have said: “My lord, I don’t know where he is; if Goddy knows, he should go and bring him.”
The judge repeated his question: “Chief, where is Prof Mahmood?”
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Responding, Awomolo said: “My lord, it is beyond my brief to produce the INEC Chairman in court. The court has issued a bench warrant against Prof Mahmood, so, let the IGP produce him in court.”
Going further, Justice Pam said that the order of August 1st, was still subsisting and has not been set aside or discharged.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, to disqualify the judge that issued arrest warrant against him, Vanguard reports.
Legit.ng gathered that the INEC boss, in the petition he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, alleged that Justice Stephen Pam, was determined to send him to prison without recourse to the rule of law.