Following a court order issued on Wednesday by Justice Gladys Olotu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has restored the name of the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson as the candidate.
Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, confirmed that the Commission upon getting the order, included Dickson’s name on the list of candidates for the February 11 governorship polls in Bayelsa State.
He noted that as a law abiding Commission, INEC would continue to obey court rulings.
In compliance with the Electoral Act, INEC had last week published the names of the 36 candidates with Dickson’s conspicuously missing, a development the Commission attributed to the ongoing litigation between the PDP and the governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva.
But in an ex parte application filed on January 17 with an affidavit of urgency, Dickson sought an order of interim injunction directing INEC to uphold his candidature and publish his name and that of his running mate on the list containing that of other candidates fielded by the political parties for the February 11 election.
Justice Olotu thus granted Dickson’s prayer and ordered that the Commission be served by substituted service, pending the determination of the suit. The trial judge thereafter, adjourned the matter to January 26 for hearing of the motion on notice.
As the court order was served on INEC yesterday, a group known as Friends of Bayelsa led by its national coordinator, Mrs Miriam Onuoha stormed the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja to protest the exclusion of Dickson.
Meanwhile, Sylva has described the court order as “strange, despicable and untenable.”
A statement signed by Sylva’s Chief Press Secretary, Doifie Ola, noted that the judge determined the substantive relief sought by Dickson at the ex parte stage, which according to Sylva, meant that INEC was not heard, his application for stay was not heard while the relief sought by Dickson was heard at the preliminary stage.
Similarly, the National Campaign Committee of Dickson under the chairmanship of Vice President Namadi Sambo was inaugurated yesterday at the PDP national secretariat, Abuja, with Sambo promising to deliver Bayelsa State to the PDP.
source: Leadership News