A Federal High court sitting in Abuja yesterday stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] from publishing names of nominees of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for national and state Assemblies election from Ondo State.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed issued the preservative order after listening to contempt proceedings initiated against the electoral body by the Olu Agunloye-led executive and some aspirants to the House of Representatives.

The contempt proceedings against INEC, the PDP national body, its National Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu and the National Secretary, Prof. Wole Oladipo, emanated from an order of the court directing them to relate with the Ondo State PDP executive headed by Dr. Olu Agunloye in respect to the conduct of primary elections.

But rather than comply with the said order of Justice Adeniyi Ademola, the alleged contemptors received two lists of nominees from the PDP national body and the plaintiffs.

In moving the application for contempt on behalf of the plaintiffs, Prince Ajibola Oluyede insisted that INEC violated the order of the court made on December 18, 2014.

However, counsel to INEC, Ibrahim Bawa, argued that the commission was not in contempt of any order of court as there was no order stopping INEC from receiving nomination list from the PDP national body.

Besides, he argued, the electoral body acted in accordance with the provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2010.

“We are only guided by the position of the law that we should receive nomination list of candidates from the national headquarters of political parties,” he said.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed held that “none of the parties should do anything that would render the subject matter of the suit a nugatory till Tuesday, January 6, 2015.”

Justice Mohammed, however, declined to pronounce on the contempt in view of the fact that there were divergent interpretations on the order issued by Justice Ademola by both counsel.

However, he said in view of the urgency of the matter and the time limit for submission of candidates’ list, there was the need to preserve the subject matter of the suit.

Justice Ademola of a Federal High Court had earlier sacked the executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) put in place by Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State after he defected to the party.


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