Court order INEC to “publish Dr Stephen Odey as duly nominated PDP candidate to contest Cross River North bye elections

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A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar on Thursday affirmed Dr Stephen Odey as candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Cross River North Senatorial bye election.

Ruling in the suit with number FHC/CA/CS/87/2020, presiding judge, Justice S.A. Amobeda held Odey was the validly nominated candidate of the PDP for the said bye election.

Relying on relevant provisions of the the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), provisions of the Electoral Act 2020 and Articles of the PDP guidelines for conduct of its primaries, Justice Amobeda ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Odey as the duly nominated candidate of the People’s Democratic Party to contest the election.

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Citing the relevant provisions of the constitution, the electoral act and articles of PDP guidelines for conduct of primaries, the court 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and whose name was submitted by the PDP to INEC 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 People’s 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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP.”

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.