A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered the removal of the name of Mr Idu Onyiloyi, Labour Party (LP) deputy governorship candidate for Benue elections from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s list.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, also stopped Onyiloyi from further parading himself as the deputy governorship candidate of LP in the state for Saturday’s poll having voluntarily withdrawn his candidature.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dr Ochechi Adejor had sued the LP, INEC and Onyiloyi as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
In the originating summons filed on Feb. 6, the plaintiff asked the court to determine whether having regard to the combined provisions of sections 221, 222 and Paragraph 15 of the Third Schedule, has the power to substitute Onyiloyi’s name with his, having voluntarily withdrawn his candidature as deputy governorship candidate in an affidavit he deposed to and a letter transmitted to the party.
Adejor, therefore, sought an order compelling INEC to publish his name as LP’s deputy governorship candidate for Benue election.
He also sought an order restraining the commission from further accepting Onyiloyi’s names as candidate representing the party in the poll.
Delivering the judgment, the judge said he had found that the evidence of the Plaintiff (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.
Justice Ekwo declared that Adejor was the LP’s valid candidate for the deputy governorship position for Benue election, having been validly nominated as candidate for the position following the voluntary withdrawal of Onyiloyi.
He declared that the withdrawal of 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 Onyiloyi’s name or any other person other than Adejor as the candidate representing LP for the office of the deputy governorship of Benue at the 2023 general elections.