June 8, 2020

LG Tribunal weighs committal of ENSIEC Chairman

Air Vice Marshal Salihu Atwodi

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU State Local Government Election Tribunal has issued form 49, a notice to show cause on why one will not be committed to prison, to the Chairman of Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, Dr. Mike Ajogwu (SAN), for his alleged disobedience to the tribunal order.

The Tribunal had on March 27 2020 ordered Ajogwu and his commission to release to the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the certified true copies of all the polling units results, ward collation result and a declaration of results regarding all the 17 local government council chairmanship election in Enugu state held on February 29 2020.

The tribunal order was sequel to an application by motion Exparte brought by APGA pursuant to its having the necessary documents to file petitions at the tribunal after the council elections in February.

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But Ajogwu and his commission ignored the tribunal order, resulting to the tribunal issuing form 48, a notice to comply with court order, on May 11 2020, where the tribunal warned him that he “will be guilty of contempt of court/tribunal and will be liable to committal to prison.”

Still obstinate to the order, APGA on May 28 filed application for order of committal of Ajogwu, stating that ENSIEC’s continued violation of the tribunal order had rendered the party handicap in petition it ought to have filed before the tribunal, since knowledge of the results of the council elections was a prerequisite for filing of petitions.

Counsel to APGA, Mr. Alex Amujiogu in his written address stated that section 66 (f) of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act Cap 402, laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990 empowers the tribunal to summon any party who is in disobedience of its order, for him to show cause why he should not be punished for his conduct.

“Orders of court are not made for fun but are made to be obeyed and complied with and any disobedience to a valid order of court by a party to a suit must be made to face the music,” Amujiogu said.

Date for hearing on the application for the committal proceeding has been fixed for Tuesday, 9th June 2020.