Alleged contempt: Court insists I-G must arrest INEC Chairman Mahmood
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday insisted that the Inspector-General of Police, must arrest and produce the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in court on Aug. 16.
Justice Stephen Pam gave the order following the absence of Yakubu’s team of lawyers in court and there was no explanation as to why they were absent.
“At the commencement of proceedings, counsel to the applicant, Kanayo Okafor, informed the court that the Court of Appeal on Monday asked the court to stay proceedings in the matter.
“The counsel to the respondent is not in court and no reason has been given for their absence.
“The contempt proceedings and the bench warrant issued for the arrest of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman still subsists, the I-G is to carry out the order of the arrest of Yakubu.
“This court being a court of record has nothing to prove that there was an order for stay from the Court of Appeal.”
However, while the judge was delivering his ruling, a counsel on the team of Yakubu’s counsel walked into the court and made attempts to call the judge’s attention to his presence.
This was, however, in vain as Justice Pam adjourned the matter until Aug. 16 for continuation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), gathered that the counsel was late because he was at the Court of Appeal making efforts to get the ruling to present to the lower court, but the ruling was not yet ready.
The court had on Aug. 1, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Yakubu for “flagrant” disobedience of court orders.
Also, the Court of Appeal vacated the arrest order on Monday and ordered a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the substantive case.
The lower court, however, insisted that no such order had been communicated to it and being a court of record, it needed a document to show that there was such an order and not verbal information.