Court Upholds Oduah’s Election as Senator for Anambra North

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has upheld the election of Senator Stella Oduah as the valid representative of Anambra North constituency.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola in a ruling challenging the primary election that produced Oduah as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 senatorial election, struck out the action instituted by Senator Magarene Okadigbo, on ground that it was lacking in merit.

Ademola held that Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2010 and 251 of the 1999 Constitution are categorical and unambiguous to the effect that the primary election is an internal affair of a political party and should not be enquired into any court of law.

The judge held that he had carefully studied the case of Senator Okadigbo and found that there was no dispute in the fact that the issue in contention was the PDP primary election of December 7, 2014, conducted by Mr. Simon Izuora which produced Oduah as the candidate of the party for the Anambra North.

Justice Ademola further held that since the law is emphatic that no court should enquire into any primary election of a political party, any attempt to go beyond that level would amount to an exercise in futility.

He therefore upheld the preliminary objection raised by PDP against Okadigbo’s case and consequently struck out the case on the grounds that his court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Okadigbo had in 2014 filed the action to challenge the Anambra North senatorial primary election, claiming that having scored the highest number of votes at the election, she should be automatically declared the candidate of the party for the 2015 general election.

Among others, Okadigbo prayed the court for an order to compel PDP to submit her name to INEC as the authentic candidate of the party for the zone.

She also prayed the court for an order, restraining INEC from accepting any other name other than her own as the candidate of the PDP.