INEC chairman, Yakubu risks jail for allegedly disobeying court order

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu may be committed to prison if a Committal proceeding filed by the Young Democratic Party (YDP) now pending before a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos sails through on Friday January 18, 2019. The court will on that day hear the application which is seeking to commit the INEC chairman to prison as a contemnor. It is accompanied with a 12 paragraph affidavit.
This is the position of the Form 49 issued by the Court issued on Wednesday,
January 16, 2019 against the alleged contemnor inviting him to come and
show cause why he should not be sent to prison for refusing to comply with
the Judgment of the court made on November 29, 2018 by Justice Ayotunde Faji.
The Form 49 reads: “Take notice that the defendant/applicant, the Acting National chairman, Hon. Henry Nwabueze, of Young Democratic Party will on a date as approved by the Court apply for an order for your Committal to prison for having disobeyed the Judgment of the Federal High Court by Justice A.O. Faji made on 29th November 2018 enjoining you to recognize the second defendant/applicant, Hon. Nwabueze, as the Acting National Chairman, of the Young Democratic Party and thereby neglected to obey the said Judgment”.
The contention is that under Section 72 of the Sheriff’s and Civil Process
Act, “if a person refuses or neglects to comply with an order of court made
against him other than for payment of money, the court instead of dealing
with him as a judgment debtor will find him guilty of the misconduct defined in paragraph (F) of Section 66 of the Act, and make order that he committed to prison and be detained in custody until he has Obeyed the order.
Placing reliance in the case of John Ebhodaghe vs Mike Okoye, the
Applicant’s counsel, Akinyeme Ayo said that an order of Committal against the Respondent will be proper and deserving given that the Respondent has been granted adequate notice and time of complying with a valid court order.
Quoting Justice Niki Tobi, (JSC) as he then was, he said that “obedience to
orders of court is fundamental to the good order, peace and stability of
the Nigerian nation.
He thereafter asked the court to cite the Respondent for contempt as
provided by Order 35 Rule1 (2) (b) of the Civil Procedure Rules of the court.