After a Court of Appeal ordered a stay of execution on the warrant issued for the arrest of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, has restated that Yakubu must be arrested.
The order was given following the absence of the INEC Chairman’s lawyers in court, with no accompanying explanation.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), although a member of Yakubu’s legal team later turned up, his attempts to get the attention of the judge were in vain, as the ruling was ongoing and the matter was adjourned till August 16 for continuation.
Justice Stephen Pam, speaking in court on Tuesday, said: “At the commencement of proceedings, counsel for 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 for 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 IG 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.”
NAN gathered that the counsel was late because he was trying to get the ruling to present to the lower court, but it was not yet ready.