Oduah, Ubah Validly Elected, Court Rules | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Oduah, Ubah Validly Elected, Court Rules

Senator Stella Oduah, Former Minister of Aviation
Posted: Jul 10, 2016 at 6:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nicholas Uweruonye

Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja has struck out the suit instituted against Senator Stella Oduah and others over the validity of their individual candidacy in the 2015 National Assembly elections in the State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had asked the Federal Court in Abuja to dismiss a legal action challenging the validity of the primary election of PDP that produced Senators Andy Ubah, Stella Oduah and others as candidates for the 2015 National Assembly elections.

The electoral body and PDP claimed that the legal action instituted by Senator Annie Okonkwo and 43 others was a gross abuse of the court on the grounds that the issues raised by the plaintiffs had already been resolved by the Supreme Court.

Justice Ademola in the judgment delivered on Friday held that the plaintiffs’ claim, that they are the right nominated candidates of the PDP in the National and State House of Assembly election in the March and the April 11, 2016 Presidential election held in the state, cannot stand in the face of the law having been unlawfully nominated by the state executive of the party.

The court held that it had been established in law that the power to conduct primary election, nomination of candidates and submission of list of candidates to INEC was vested on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of political parties.
Justice Ademola said since the Supreme Court has made the clarification via an order, such order must be obeyed by persons and statutory bodies.
According to the Judge, “It is settled law that the state executive committee organ of a political party lacks power to nominate candidates for an election. It is only the primary election conducted by the national executive committee of a party, that is valid to be submitted to INEC for the purpose of an election and no other arm”.

“The plaintiffs’ claims to the effect that they are the validly nominated candidates of the PDP for the 2015 general elections cannot stand in the face of the law, because the Anambra State PDP exco has no legal right or legitimacy to conduct primary elections to nominate candidates.

“In the instant case, it appears that the state exco do not to know their limit with their flagrant abuse of power and usurpation of the functions of the national executive committee of the party.
“Political parties should educate their state executive committees on the limit of their powers so as to stop them from embarking on acts of illegality and nullity”, the Judge held.