Less than 72 hours before the planned gubernatorial election in Benue State, Chief Idu Christopher Onyiloyi, the deputy governorship candidate for the state's Labour Party, LP, was dismissed by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dr. Ochechi Godwin Adejor was reinstated by the court as the party's candidate for deputy governor in an opinion written by Justice Inyang Ekwo.
Onyiloyi, according to Justice Ekwo, ceased in law to possess the same status once he voluntarily withdrew his candidacy and swore an affidavit to that effect.
The court decided that the available evidence proved Onyiloyi personally authored the party a letter withdrawing from the gubernatorial campaign.
It said that a court document validated the letter in question.
Justice Ekwo concluded that Onyiloyi was no longer eligible to run for office as a result of his voluntary withdrawal, citing provisions 29–84 of the Electoral Act 2022, sections 29, 31, 32, and 222 of the 1999 Constitution, as well as sections 221, 222, 221–222, and 222 of the 1999 Constitution.
According to him, the party had to change his name to Adejor's and take his position.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must publish the plaintiff's name as its legitimate deputy governorship candidate for the election, according to Justice Ekwo's order to the LP.
Furthermore, the court awarded a permanent injunction preventing the electoral body from admitting any name other than the plaintiff's as the LP's candidate for deputy governor. This ruling required INEC to publicize the plaintiff's name.
The court also granted an injunction preventing Onyiloyi from further representing himself as the LP's candidate for deputy governor of Benue state.
Additionally, it prohibited the party from endorsing him as its deputy governorship candidate.
LP, INEC, and Onyiloyi were listed as defendants in the lawsuit with the file number FHC/ABJ/CS/1853/2022, respectively.
News source: vanguard newspaper
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