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EDO S.D.P PEACE ACCORD IN DEADLOCK

There seems to be no way forward towards ending lingering crisis currently militating against the Social Democratic Party, (S.D.P) Edo state chapter.
The crisis which bothers on who by law and according to the electoral act 2010 (as amended) should fly the party’s flag as authentic candidate of S.D.P, for House of Representatives, Owan federal constituency, Edo state, disturbs electorates on why the party is yet to put his house in order across even as the general election draws near.
It was gathered that a peace accord was however, Monday broker by S.D.P leaders in Auchi on the basis of alternative dispute resolution, where a decision was reached that the both aggrieved parties should Thursday at the commencement of hearing on the matter withdrew their independent suit filed at the federal high court holden in Benin City.
We learnt that Oarhe Dickson who had emerged candidate of S.D.P for House of Representatives at her primary election held 29, November, 2014 was in court with his solicitor, Ehi Ogierhiakhi (Miss) for N.P Osifo & co. to withdrew the suit as communicated thereto being a loyal party man arising from the decision reached at the said meeting.
But the peace accord twisted where the other party seemingly disobeyed party leaders and the decision reached at the said meeting as he held to go on with the case.
Both party sources reveal has now resolved never to withdrew their cases but to seek justice over the matter.
This crisis has lingered on for months in Edo State chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as its acclaimed House of Representatives candidate for Owan Federal Constituency, Dickson Oarhe had to go to the Federal High Court in Benin City challenging alleged substitution of his name without his consent as the authentic choice of the party.
“Oarhe it was said eventually had to file a court suit sequel, having got wind of it, that the other partyman had earlier filed his suit also before hand against party’s directives”, a close confidant, Barr. Ernest Imasuen disclosed.
The legal action in suit No FHC/B/CS/26/15 filed by N. P. Osifo & Co is between Oarhe Dickson (plaintiff) and one Ekeinde Stephen Obas, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
He wants the court to determine “Whether the plaintiff who was confirmed as the 2nd defendant’s candidate by consensus during a special congress of the 2nd defendant is not the proper candidate of the 2nd defendant to be sent to the 3rd defendant as the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the Federal House of Representatives, Owan Federal Constituency, Edo State.
“Whether the 2nd defendant can remove the name of the plaintiff after same have been submitted to the 3rd defendant as the candidate of 2nd defendant for the March 28th, 2015 National Assembly election (House of Representatives), Owan federal constituency, Edo State.”
“Whether the 1st and 2nd defendants can circumvent the provisions of the electoral act 2010 as amended.”
He said if the questions asked are to his favour, the court should declare “that the purported withdrawal of plaintiff’s name and the subsequent submission of name of 1st defendant as candidate of the 2nd defendant to the 3rd defendant is illegal, null, void and of no legal consequence or significance.
“A consequential order mandating the 3rd defendant not to act on the subsequent submission of the 1st defendant as the candidate of the 2nd defendant representing Owan federal house of representatives.
“An order of this honourable court compelling and/or mandating the 3rd defendant to act on the letter of the plaintiff dated 19th day of January, 2015 in which the plaintiff was named as candidate of the 2nd defendant for Owan federal House of Representatives.
“An order of this honourable court to the effect that the plaintiff is the valid candidate of the 2nd defendant for election into house of representatives, Owan federal constituency and the 3rd defendant should treat him as such”, it contained.
Following this development, trouble seems to be on the way for the Independent National Electoral Commission, (I.N.E.C), Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega over its failures to comply and apply its electoral act 2010 as amended which recognizes the right of a candidate to contest in an election as the one who emerged at the primary election of a political party.
Consequently, Oarhe Dickson who emerged as candidate of Social Democratic Party, (S.D.P) at her primary election held November 29, 2014 for House of Representatives, Owan federal constituency, Edo state for the 2015 national assembly wrote the electoral umpire accuses I.N.E.C, Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega of electoral malpractices.
Oarhe through his solicitor, N.P OSIFO & CO. in two separate letters addressed to his party [S.D.P] and I.N.E.C, chairman, Prof. Jega copied Edo state resident electoral commissioner, dated 19th January, 2015 and signed by E. Ogierhiakhi (Miss) for: N.P OSIFO & CO. presented, “Notice of Illegal Substitution of Social Democratic Party elected candidate’s name.”
The content of the letter which was acknowledged receipt by I.N.E.C stamped, signed and dated: 20 January 2015 states that: “our client has briefed us that he emerged as the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for the federal House of Representatives, Owan federal constituency, Edo state after the party’s primaries successfully conducted on the 29th day of November, 2014 in the presence of members of the Social Democratic Party including three I.N.E.C officers.
“Our client also briefed us that after the successful conduct of the primaries, the party’s chairman had without his consent and knowledge intended to substitute his name with one Ekeinde Stephen Obas which he vehemently opposed.
“Our client has further informed us that to his surprise and notwithstanding his opposition, his party chairman had with the collaboration of some I.N.E.C’s officers substituted his name with the said Ekeinde Stephen Obas whose name was eventually sent to I.N.E.C’s headquarters, Abuja and same was published by you.
“You are hereby given 72hours from the date of your receipt of this letter to erase and removed the said name Ekeinde Stephen Obas from your data bank or whatsoever materials thereof and revert same to our client’s name failure upon which you shall leave us with no alternative but to use all available legal means to redress/remedy this situation.
“We further re-emphasize that any attempt to disenfranchised our client by whatsoever means in preventing him from contesting in the forth coming national assembly election will be greatly resisted by all legal means”, Oarhe through his Barrister and Solicitor warned.

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