Con­tempt: Court sum­mons Ji­gawa elec­toral body

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By John Chuks Azu

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.

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