Nothing can be clearer than the judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the decision in Chief Jude Okeke Vs APGA and Ors & Edozie Njoku (as an interested person).

Indeed, Edozie Njoku, the interested person, ended up winning the case hands down.

This is actually a rather quite rare feat in law, and, for an interested party to end up being the winner of a case usually signposts the due diligence a court has invested in a matter before it.

It is therefore most unconscionable, indeed totally unacceptable, that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should up till now have refused to accord recognition to Mr Njoku as the authentic Chairman of APGA.

Indeed, it is simply too shameful that at a time at which losers of elections are flying completely off the handle and tarnishing the reputation of the commission after it conducted what is by far the most credible elections since June 12, 1993, that the same INEC would be so rascally as to defy no less than a judgement of the highest court in the land.

It is even more disgraceful that this is happening with senior and indisputably knowledgeable lawyers like Barrister Festus Okoye there to give the Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, appropriate advice on the right thing to do.

But, I would rather say we all know the problem with INEC.

It is fast decomposing into an old boys club where the arcane rules of such aggregations now predominate over the laws of our country, even to the extent of a creation of the law like INEC most contemptuously ignoring a judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

There is absolutely no controversy about the judgement in this case.

It is as clear as daylight.

Chief Edozie Njoku, who came in as an interested party, ended up winning the case.

That is the long and short of the matter.

The law is what it is and as it stands Edozie Njoku is the one and only legal Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the oldest of the progressive political parties in the words of Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Soludo.

Deployment of bribery and corruption to induce officers of INEC into so insolently defying the Supreme Court is not an end game that anyone can sustainably rely on.

Rather than resisting the inevitable, Soludo, being the only governor in the party, should find a means of coming to terms with Edozie Njoku and forging a way forward.

As it is, Mr. Njoku is Mr. Soludo’s Chairman, even as Mr. Soludo is his leader.

There is absolutely nothing Soludo can do about that other than to find common ground with Njoku.

It is utterly disgraceful that it is an intellectual of Soludo’s standing that should be associated with such suspicion of heinous bribery to the extent of sabotaging an agency of government unto insulting the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Is this how he plans to become the first Ibo President of Nigeria?

While Edozie Njoku seems to be quite prepared to wait for INEC to do the needful, it is neither up to Njoku or INEC to determine the timeline for obedience to a decision of court – the court issues a decision and everybody obeys or civilization gradually decomposes into a state of nature.

INEC has been most condemnable in its regulation of political parties.

There are people who have been Chairmen of their parties since the parties were founded.

Some political parties seem to exist for nothing higher than buying and selling of endorsements of the candidates of other political parties.

The job of INEC does not stop with just conducting elections – it is the obligation of INEC to deepen democracy, including by building up the political parties, even as it is its mandate to preserve democratic culture.

It cannot do either by undermining the courts and should realize so unless it has completely gone rogue.

This madness cannot be tolerated any longer.

It is not up to INEC to pick and choose which court judgements to obey.

It is not the prerogative of INEC to decide whether to obey the courts or not and it is especially shameful for a man of Mahmoud Yakubu’s standing, training and professional orientation to be the one playing hide and seek with a straightforward judgement of no less than the Supreme Court.

The judgement obtained by Chief Edozie Njoku is as rare and profound as judgements come.

It is not every day you hear that the Supreme Court, of all fora, has varied or corrected its own judgement.

This is what Mr. Njoku has managed to achieve, thus further deepening Nigerian jurisprudence.

Chief Edozie Njoku is the authentic Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, according to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and that’s the end of the matter.

Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, be law abiding and obey the Supreme Court right now!

Onokpasa, a lawyer, writes from Abuja.

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