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Court orders removal of Benue LP deputy governorship candidate from INEC list

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the removal of the name of Idu Onyiloyi, Labour Party (LP) deputy governorship candidate for Benue, from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s list.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgement on Wednesday, also stopped Mr Onyiloyi from further parading himself as the deputy governorship candidate of LP in the state for Saturday’s poll, having withdrawn his candidature voluntarily.

Ochechi Adejor had sued the LP, INEC and Mr Onyiloyi as first to third defendants, respectively.

In the originating summons filed on February 6, the plaintiff asked the court to determine whether, having regard to the combined sections 221, 222 and paragraph 15 of the Third Schedule, has the power to substitute Mr Onyiloyi’s name with his, having withdrawn his candidature as deputy governorship candidate in an affidavit he deposed to and a letter transmitted to the party.

Mr Adejor sought an order compelling INEC to publish his name as LP’s deputy governorship candidate for the Benue election.

He also sought an order restraining the commission from further accepting Mr Onyiloyi’s name as the candidate representing the party in the poll.

Delivering the judgement, the judge said he had found that the evidence of the plaintiff (Mr Adejor) in the case was credible.

“I find that the plaintiff has proved its case by credible evidence and is entitled to judgement in his favour, and I so hold,” he said.

Mr Ekwo declared that Mr Adejor was the LP’s valid candidate for the deputy governorship position for the Benue election, having been validly nominated as the candidate for the position following the voluntary withdrawal of Mr Onyiloyi.

He declared that the withdrawal of Mr Onyiloyi from the race subsisted and the publication of his name as the deputy governorship candidate was unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect.

The judge, therefore, gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from further accepting or publishing Mr Onyiloyi’s name or any other person other than Mr Adejor as the candidate representing LP for the office of the deputy governorship of Benue.


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