By Nsan Ndoma-Neji

The Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar has affirmed the candidature of Dr Stephen Odey as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Cross River North senatorial bye election

Ruling in a suit number FHC/CA/CS/87/2020, the court, presided over by Justice S.A. Amobeda, stated  that Dr Odey was the only PDP candidate validly nominated for the bye election.

Justice Amobeda premised his ruling on relevant provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Articles of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Guidelines for conduct of its primaries.

He subsequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to publish the name of Dr Stephen Odey as the duly nominated candidate of the PDP to contest the election.

Further citing relevant provisions of the constitution, the Electoral Act and articles of the PDP Guidelines for conduct of primaries, Justice Amobeda held that INEC “is compelled and bound by law to publish the name of the 1st defendant (Dr Stephen Odey), who was validly nominated by the PDP and whose name was submitted by the PDP to INEC in the list of nominated candidates to contest the Cross River North senatorial district bye election, now scheduled to hold on the 5th day of December 2020.”

The court further directed INEC to “publish the name of the plaintiff (Dr Stephen Odey) as the duly nominated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party to contest the Cross River North senatorial district bye election now scheduled to hold on the 5th of December 2020.”

It also granted a perpetual restraining order on INEC, restraining it “either by themselves, agents, privies or surrogates from doing anything whatsoever and however, that will adversely affect the candidature of the plaintiff (Dr Stephen Odey) to contest the Cross River North senatorial district bye election now scheduled to hold on the 5th day of December 2020 on the platform of the PDP.”

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