Nigeria: Appeal Court Halts Arrest of INEC Chairman

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has issued a stay of execution on the warrant of arrest against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Prof Mahmoud Yakubu over alleged contempt of court.

Justice Abdul Aboki, who led a three-member panel of justice ordered the Federal High Court in Abuja to stay hearing in the contempt proceeding before it pending the determination of the appeal by Mahmood Yakubu.

The INEC chief had filed the appeal through his counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), claiming that the court acted in bad faith in the issuance of the arrest order because he had already filed a pending appeal against the order and the attention of the judge drawn to the appeal.

Yakubu insisted that the trial court breached section 36 of the 1999 Constitution by striking out his motion without hearing it, thereby denying him his right to fair hearing in the determination on merit of his application.

Justice Stephen Pam had on August 1 issued the bench warrant after Prof Yakubu failed to turn up for the third time over the proceeding on the Anambra State PDP Chairmanship dispute.

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