In a ruling which clears any legal hurdle to the conduct of Saturday’s election for Anambra Central senatorial seat, Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has vacated its consent judgment affirming a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Obiora Okonkwo, as the authentic candidate to represent the district at the Senate.
Justice John Tsoho, who vacated his December 13, 2017 judgment at the instance of an application by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said his court was mislead and deceived into delivering the said judgment.
He held that the previous judgment was based on the consent of parties and cannot be viewed as a final judgement on the matter, stressing that “It must be realised that the judgement entered in this court is a consent judgement. It is not one on merit, therefore the court has jurisdiction to revisit it. It cannot be regarded as a final judgment”.
The judge stated that the ruling which was strongly relied upon by Okonkwo’s lawyer cannot be regarded as a final judgment on the matter.
He maintained that the actions of the respondent counsel in the suit, namely the Peoples Democratic Party, which resulted in the December judgment was questionable given the Appeal Court judgment which ordered a re-election without the inclusion of the party.
“It is enough ground to set aside the decision,” Tsoho said.
However, Okonkwo has, in a swift reaction, vowed to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.