Court fixes Nov. 30 for judgment in suit seeking Stella Oduah’s disqualification

Court fixes Nov. 30 for judgment in suit seeking Stella Oduah’s disqualification
October 13 13:13 2022 Print This Article

A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed Nov. 30 for judgment in a suit filed against Sen. Stella Oduah, seeking an order invalidating her nomination as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra.

Oduah is contesting for the Anambra North Senatorial District for the 2023 election, seat at the National Assembly, which she won, and has been occupying since 2015.

Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after counsel for the applicant and the defence adopted and presented their arguments in the matter.

John Emeka, an aspirant in the May 27 primary poll conducted by the party and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had sued Oduah, PDP and INEC as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

Emeka alleged that Oduah lied on oath in both her expression of interest and nomination forms, including in the INEC Form CF001 which she submitted to the commission for the 2023 Anambra North Senatorial District seat.

In the originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/841/2022 dated and filed on June 8 by his lawyer, Mbanefo Ikwegbue, Emeka prayed the court to declare that the information supplied by Oduah in her INEC Form CF001, with respect to her participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, was false.

He said the senator had, under oath, used the same information to participate in the previous general elections as the PDP’s candidate for the 2015 and 2019 polls for Anambra North Senatorial District.

According to him, the act contravenes Sections 12(1)(a)(b)(c) and 13(1)(a) of the NYSC Act.

He further prayed the court to declare that by reason of the false information given in her INEC Form CF 001 in respect of her participation in the NYSC Scheme, she was not qualified to have contested in the said elections and or any other election into the Nigerian Senate.

Emeka, therefore, sought an order nullifying the senator’s participation in the PDP’s primary election held on May 27 for the 2023 Senatorial District seat in the National Assembly.

He prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the party from presenting her to INEC as its candidate for the forthcoming poll.

The aspirant also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from accepting her name as PDP’s candidate for the 2023 senatorial district poll.

He further prayed the court to declare him the valid candidate of the PDP for the 2023 general election, having participated in the party’s primary election held on May 27.

Emeka also said that the defection of one of the initial three aspirants for the said poll to another political party and becoming the candidate of that other party, among others presented him as the only candidate for the election.

But in her counter affidavit dated and filed Sept. 14 by her lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, the lawmaker said she knew that Emeka had waived his right to challenge her nomination.

Ikpeazu argued that the the plaintiff deposed to an affidavit contained in the party primaries screening brief where he declared “to abide by the decisions of the party as final and not subject it to any litigation whatsoever of adjudication by any other body including the court of Law.”

According to Oduah, by the above declaration, the plaintiff undertook to accept the outcome of the screening, the nomination of the 1st defendant and not to subject the party to any litigation whatsoever.

The senator, who averred that Emeka was no longer a member of the PDP, denied making any false deposition as alleged.

“I duly completed my National Youth Service in accordance with the law, and the original of the documents stated in the affidavit were indeed lost as I stated.

“I have equally up until the institution of this suit, not presented any information to the 3rd defendant (INEC) as the candidate of the 2nd defendant for the forthcoming 2023 election for the senate of Anambra North Senatorial District,” she said.

She, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the suit.

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