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Court dismisses suit against Andy Uba, Stella Oduah, others


Stella-Oduah-and-Andy-Uba
The Federal High Court has dismissed the suit seeking to remove from office lawmakers representing Anambra State at both the State and National Assembly.
In his judgment, Justice Adeniyi Ademola dismissed the suit brought by Senator Annie Okonkwo, Chris Ubah and 42 others for lack of merit.
The court held that the claim of the plaintiffs that they are the rightfully nominated candidates of the party in the state cannot stand in the face of the law having emerged from an illegal process.
The court said it is clear and an established principles that the power to nominate candidate and submit names to INEC is vested in the NEC of the party.
Justice Ademola said in the instant case, the plaintiffs, having emerged from a primary election conducted by the State Executive Committee of the party submitted themselves to an act of illegality and as such cannot seek legal backing to such a nomination.
Besides, Justice Ademola drew reference to Supreme Court Judgment of January 29 and the ruling of the Court on February 24, 2016 where the issues of the powers of PDP NEC and State Executive Committee was effectively ventilated to the effect that the state organ of the party has no power under the party’s constitution and Electoral Act to nominate candidate for the purpose of a general election.
He said since the Supreme Court has made a clarification through its judgment, that judgment is binding and must be obeyed by persons and statutory bodies.
” It is settled law that a state Exco of a political party lacked power to nominate candidate for election. It’s only election organized by National Executive Committee (NEC) that is validly empowered by law to submit to INEC names of candidate for the purpose of election and no other organ of the party.
The claims of the plaintiff to the effect that they are the validly nominated can dated of the PDP for the 2015 national ans state election cannot stand in the face of the law because the Anambra State PDP Exco has no.legal right or legitimacy to nominate candidates.
“In the instant case, it appears the state Exco appears not to know their limit by their flagrant usurpation of the powers of NEC. Political parties should endeavour to educate their state Exco on the limit of their powers so as to stop then from embarking of acts of illegality and nullity.
The court further held that the publishing of their names by INEC has no legal consequences because their failed to show their legitimacy.
The plaintiffs have approached the court to declare that their named having been published on the website of INEC, they cannot be removed without a competent court order.
An order of court directing INEC to restore their names as candidates of the National and State Assemblies for the 2015 elections.
Reacting, counsel to the plaintiff, Abel Ozioko said the court went out of us way to dwell on issues nor canvassed by the plaintiffs in arriving at its decision.
He vowed that the veracity of the judgment would be tested at the Court of Appeal on instructions of his client.

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