Contempt: Court summons Jigawa electoral body
A Federal High Court in Abuja has directed the chairman, Jigawa State Independent Electoral Commission (JGSIEC), Mohammed Sani Ahmed, Secretary of the State’s commission, Muazu Hadejia, and seven commissioners to appear before it over a contempt suit.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba directed them to appear on Tuesday August 15 to answer to a contempt charge brought against them by the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Salisu Mamuda, and 52 other members of the party in the state and aspirants for local government elections.
The suit followed alleged disobedience of an ex parte court order of June 12, restraining the commission from conducting the local government election without 25 party members, who are parties to the suit, until the hearing and determination of the main suit.
Having made the order, the Federal High Court in Dutse declined the application by the JSIEC officials to set it aside, and adjourned it to September 20 for hearing.
Counsel to the applicants, Yakubu Ruba, yesterday asked the court to issue a warrant to the objectors over their absence for hearing on the committal proceedings, adding that it was a violation of the provisions of Section 352 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
However, Justice Dimgba ruled that they appear in person as a sign of respect for the court.
The commission’s legal adviser, Adamu Mukhtar, had claimed that the ex parte order stopping the election had lapsed after 14 days. He explained that Section 12 of the JGSIEC, 2012 makes members of the commission protected from legal liability.