Umeh, Ekwunife

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the Anambra Central District rerun election has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission to stop his opponent in the Peoples Democratic Party, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, from participating in the poll.

Umeh, who spoke with journalists at his country home, Aguluzuigbo, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, said his petition was based on a Court of Appeal judgement of December 7 that purportedly disqualified Ekwunife from partaking of the rerun.

He contended that all processes for nomination of candidates for the March 28,2015 general election that culminated in the rerun had ended in 2014 and could not be resurrected in any guise at present.

The Court of Appeal Justices: A.D. Yahaya, T.O. Awotoye and B.G. Sanga, had in their unanimous judgment of December 7, said, “So, whether it was the national body of the PDP in Anambra State, the five-man National Assembly electoral committee or the caretaker committee that conducted the primary which produced the 11th respondent (Ekwunife) as the nominated candidate of the PDP to contest the election, it is immaterial.

“Since by paragraph 25 (1) of exhibit R1, it is the state special congress that should conduct the primary for the purpose of nominating a candidate to contest election into the National Assembly, the 11th respondent (Ekwunife) was, therefore, not the product of a valid primary and was therefore not duly and legitimately nominated. That has disqualified her from contesting the election into the Anambra Central senatorial district.”

Flowing from that, Umeh described the PDP primary, slated for 9th November for the purpose of nominating a candidate for the rerun election for Anambra Central senatorial district, as “a huge joke.”

He said, “We have written INEC. The PDP is out of the race. INEC will never accept any candidate from the PDP for that rerun.

“INEC is a body created by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They must follow the laws of Nigeria. INEC cannot do it. There is no basis for that.”

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