Court affirms Agoda as APC candidate for Ethiope Federal Constituency

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, affirmed John Agoda as the validly elected candidate in the May 27 All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries for Ethiope Federal Constituency of Delta.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, upheld the case of Agoda, a former House of Representatives member, for being meritorious.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Agoda, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1038/2022 filed by his lawyer, S.N. Ernest-Egbuna, had sued the APC and Independent National Electoral Commission. (INEC) as 1st and 2nd defendant respectively.

In the originating summons filed on July 1, the plaintiff prayed the court for the implementation of the provisions of Sections 29(1) and 84(5)(c)(li) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The act urged the APC to forward to INEC Agoda’s name as its duly nominated candidate for the election to the House of Representatives for Ethiope Federal Constituency having declared him as the winner of the primaries with the highest number of votes cast at the end of voting.

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“A declaration that by the provisions of Sections 29(1) and (3), 32(1) and 84(5)(c)(Il) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the 2nd defendant is under obligation to accept and publish, by displaying or causing to be displayed at the relevant office or offices of the 2nd defendant and on its website.
“A statement of the full names and address of the plaintiff as the candidate of the 1st defendant standing nominated for election to the membership of the House of Representatives for Ethiope Federal Constituency in Delta State.

“(This is for) emerging as winner of the primaries conducted on the 27th of May, 2022 by the 1st defendant and duly monitored by the 2nd defendant.”
Besides, Agoda prayed the court for an order of mandatory injunction directing INEC to accept and publish his full name and address as the candidate of the APC for the election.
Delivering the judgment, the judge said that the failure of the party to upload Agoda’s name to INEC when the names of its “other candidates were initially uploaded means a wrong has been done to the plaintiff.”

“The law is, where there is wrong there is a remedy. The courts have been enjoined to apply this maxim in relevant and deserved cases. This case is one of such,” he said.
According to Ekwo, I find that the plaintiff has made a compelling case which ought to succeed on the merit and I so hold.”
Consequently, the judge answered the two questions formulated by the plaintiff in the positive.

“Judgement is hereby entered on terms as follows:
“A declaration is hereby made that by the provisions of Sections 29(1) and 84(5)(c)(il) of the Electoral Act, 2022 the 1st defendant is under a duty/obligation to forward to the 2nd defendant in the prescribed Form the name and particulars of the plaintiff as Its duly nominated candidate for the election.

“A declaration is hereby made that by the provisions of Sections 29(1) and (3), 32(1) and 84(5)(c)(ii) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the 2nd defendant is under obligation to accept and publish, by displaying or causing to be displayed at the relevant office or offices of the 2nd defendant and on its website, a statement of the full names and address of the plaintiff as the candidate of the 1st defendant standing nominated for election to the membership of the House of Representatives for Ethiope Federal Constituency in Delta State having emerged as winner of the primaries conducted on the 27th of May, 2022 by the 1st defendant and duly monitored by the 2nd defendant.

“An order of mandatory Injunction is hereby made directing the 1st defendant to forward to the 2nd defendant in the prescribed Form the name and particulars of the plaintiff as its duly nominated candidate for the election to the membership of the House of Representatives for Ethiope Federal Constituency scheduled to hold on the 25th of February 2023 or any other date fixed by the 2nd defendant.
“This is the judgement of this court,” he said.(NAN)

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