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Ondo 2016: Court bars INEC from substituting PDP candidate’s name

An Akure High Court, on Thursday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from substituting or replacing the name of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 26, governorship election, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede.

In another related development, another High Court has restrained the factional chairman of the party, Biyi Poroye, from parading himself as the chairman of the party in the state.

Justice William Olamide, who gave the ruling based on an exparte order motion, brought before the court by the Clement Faboyede led PDP in the state, noted that it would be out of order for INEC to substitute Jegede’s name pending the determination of the motion on notice.

Olamide stated that it  ‎would contravene the principles of equity, justice and fairness to replace or substitute Jegede’s name.

The judgement read in part: “It is hereby ordered as prayed. The defendant/respondent is hereby restrained either by itself, chairman, commissioners, agents and servants, officers or privies or through any person or persons, howsoever from changing, replacing, removing, substituting or in any manner tampering with the name, Eyitayo Jegede SAN as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the governorship election slated for November 26, 2016 pending the determination of motion on notice.

“In the interest of justice and fair hearing, the Claimant/Applicant is hereby ordered to ensure service of the order herein granted, the motion on notice and originating summons on the Defendant/Respondent before the next date of hearing.”

However, another court presided over by Justice Olaseinde Kumuyi, ruled that Poroye and his executives should stop parading themselves as the executive of the PDP in the state. ‎

Kumuyi in his ruling said that Poroye’s lawyers could not substantiate with evidence, that Poroye was elected though any congress organised by the party and ruled that Poroye cannot take any action in respect of the party having not possessed the status quo to do so based on the PDP constitution and the electoral laws.

The court also restrained INEC from recognising any governorship candidate said to have emerged from the primaries conducted by Mr Poroye led executives while recognising the congress that brought Clement Faboyede into office as the party chairman.

He directed that only the governorship primaries conducted by Faboyede should be recognised by INEC for the November 26 governorship election in the state.

While counsel for Poroye was not present in court for the ruling, counsel for the Faboyede led executive, Banjo Ayenakin said the ruling has nullified all actions purportedly taken by Poroye led executives on the affairs of the PDP in the state.

Reacting to the judgement, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Banji Okunomo described the judgement as a victory for the nation’s hard earned democracy.