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A coalition of pro-democracy groups has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to avoid contempt of court by immediately issuing a certificate of return to Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu as ordered by an Abuja High Court.

The coalition gave the warning in a statement on Sunday by Dr Amos Shelley of Integrity Africa, Comrade Sani Yusuf Danmasani on behalf of Youths Movement For Justice and Good Governance and Comrade Idris Abubakar Salanke for APC Youths Vanguard.

“We are disappointed about INEC’s refusal to present certificate of return to Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu of the Imo North Senatorial District almost three weeks after a competent High Court ordered same.

“This disregard for the judiciary by INEC can be considered to contempt of court and we advise that the needful be done without further delays,” the group said.

They noted that in the suit, an Abuja High Court, presided by Honourable Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo on July 4th, 2019 ordered the INEC in his Judgment Order, in the suit filed by Senator Uwajumogu as Applicant, in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/395/2018, said that, INEC under Nigeria’s existing laws, lacked powers to review declaration of the applicant returned elected.

The coalition noted that it is incumbent on the INEC and four others joined in the suit as defendants; Engineer Ndubuisi Emenike, Honourable Patrick Nwabueze, Honourable Chibuike Charles Ohirimba and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to respect the order.

The group further said that the INEC cannot claim ignorance to the order, because a copy of a letter from Senator Uwajumogu’s Counsel Ewere A. Aliemeke Esq which they got a copy of, was received by INEC on July 5, 2019.

“That letter drew the commission’s attention to the High Court Judgment Order in favour of its client; even the Electoral Act 2010 as amended in 2015, gives the Senate President powers to swear in a winner based on subsection 75 (2).

“The subsection provides that when the commission refuses and or neglects to issue a certificate of return, a certified true copy of Order of Court of competent jurisdiction shall ipso factor be sufficient for swearing in a candidate declared as winner by that court”.

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