2023 : Court Orders INEC To Publish Names Of Gov Obaseki's Candidates


 A Federal High Court in Benin has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise and publish the names of candidates produced by the Governor Godwin Obaseki faction of the Edo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as standard-bearers of the party in the forthcoming 2023 elections.

 It will be recalled that the Edo state chapter of the PDP had been engulfed in supremacy battle between governor Godwin Obaseki and Chief Dan Orbih leading to the conduct of parallel primaries.

The ruling is coming against the backdrop of the Abuja Federal High Court, in May, stopping INEC from recognising or accepting ad hoc delegates provided by Obaseki’s faction of the PDP in Edo state.

Following the judgment INEC had last week published the name candidates produced from Orbih’s primaries.

But in his judgment, Justice S.M Shuaibu, granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs include Senatorial candidate, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen and House of Representatives candidate, Sunny Aguebor.

The reliefs sought by the plaintiffs is an Order of Court mandating the fourth defendant, INEC, to publish the names of the plaintiffs as the validly elected candidates of the Edo PDP for the 2023 general elections among others

The judge said based on past decisions by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the state chapter of a political party is not empowered by law to conduct party primaries and that only the National Working Committee (NWC) of a political party has the power to conduct party primaries.

“There is nothing before the Court to show that the primaries in which the 4th to 39th defendants participated was conducted by the National Working Committee of the PDP. Rather, their primaries were conducted by the Edo State chapter of the PDP.

“In my view, the power of INEC under Section 84 of the Electoral Act is limited to monitoring of party primary elections and does not extend to preparing or declaring the results of that election. This remains the law.

“In the light of the foregoing, the fourth defendant, INEC, cannot rely on results prepared by the first defendant, Edo PDP,” he noted.

Responding, the state party secretary, Hillary Otsu, described the ruling as an exercise in futility.

“This is just an exercise in futility. I understand there has been a prior federal high court ruling on the matter which takes precedence, so, it is really of no effect. The ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter will come up on the matter the day after tomorrow and I think it will neutralise all these agitations,” he said.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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