Judge Threatens to jail YDP Leaders over Misrepresentation of Ruling

by John Chuks Azu

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Young Democratic Party (YDP) to within 24 hours retract the misrepresentation of the judgment of the court on its registration as a political party or face imprisonment.

Following an order of Justice Ahmed Mohammed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 4 to issue the YDP with a Certificate of Registration having fulfilled conditions in Section78 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2010, executives of the party in press briefings claimed the court ordered its inclusion in the 2015 general elections.

The judge, who said he was embarrassed by the development ordered counsel to the YDP, Kevin Nwufo (SAN) to produce the members of the executive to show where such an order was made or face contempt proceedings.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, the judge held that by the evidence before the court, contempt has been established.

He however considered the plea of Nwufo to temper justice with mercy and directed YDP to address a national press conference retracting the misrepresentation within 24 hours and swear to an affidavit to be produced on the next adjourned date.

“The mischief lies in the misrepresentation of the court’s orders. If a party knew that the court of law has not made a specific order, why should that party give the court’s order a mischievous interpretation to suit its own interest? A case of contempt is clearly established in the circumstances of this case,” he said.

The judge adjourned the suit to March 31 for report on compliance of the order.