FROM: GODWIN TSA, ABUJA
THE Federal High Court yesterday dismissed the suit seeking to remove from office lawmakers representing Anambra State at the state and National Assemblies.
In his judgment yesterday, Justice Adeniyi Ademola dismissed the suit brought by Senator Annie Okonkwo, Chris Ubah and 42 others for lacking in merit.
The court held that the claim of the plaintiffs that they are the rightfully nominated candidates of the party in the state couldn’t stand in the face of law having emerged from an illegal process.
The court said it is clear and established principles that the power to nominate candidate and submit names to INEC is vested in the NEC of the party.
Justice Ademola said in the instant case, the plaintiffs, having emerged from a primary election conducted by the State Executive Committee of the party submitted themselves to an act of illegality and as such cannot seek legal backing to such nomination.
Besides, Justice Ademola drew reference to Supreme Court judgment of January 29 and the ruling of the Court on February 24, 2016, where powers of PDP NEC and State Executive Committee were effectively ventilated to the effect that the state organ of the party has no power under the party’s constitution and Electoral Act to nominate candidate for the purpose of a general election.
He said since the Supreme Court has made clarification through its judgment, that judgment is binding and must be obeyed by persons and statutory bodies.
“ It is settled in law that a state Exco of a political party lacked power to nominate candidate for election. It’s only election organised by National Executive Committee (NEC) that is validly empowered by law to submit to INEC names of candidate for the purpose of election and no other organ of the party.
The claims of the plaintiff to the effect that they are the validly nominated candidates of the PDP for the 2015 national and state election cannot stand in the face of law because the Anambra State PDP Exco has no legal right or legitimacy to nominate candidates.