A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Samuel Okutepa has said that it is wrong for Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia to use the state’s High Court to restrain INEC.
Ikpeazu had used an order of Osisoma High Court in Aba, Abia, to restrain the chief judge or any judicial officers to swear in Dr Sampson Ogah, as governor of the state.
Okutepa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Section 251 of 1999 Constitution ousts the jurisdiction of the state High Court from such matters.
He said that the proper thing Ikpeazu ought to have done was file his notice of appeal as well as a stay of execution of the judgment of Justice Okon Abang.
According to him, having filed a notice of appeal and motion for stay of execution in a Federal High Court it is wrong to approach the state High Court.
The SAN said “if Nigerians have respect for the rule of law what is happening in Abia is not suppose to happen.
“Both sides to the dispute are not showing respect to the rule of law.
“In law once there is a judgment and the party against whom the judgment has exercise the right of appeal, file and serve stay of execution, the law enjoins all the parties to show respect for that process.”
He said the law is that when parties have turn over their disputes to the court of law none of them was expected to undermine the authority of the court.
Okutepa said once there is evidence that Ikpeazu had exercised his constitutional right of appeal and followed it by a motion of stay, INEC ought not issue the certificate of return.
“I think his legal team ought to file an application of urgency at the same court to urge the court to preserve the rest.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said.