The immediate past National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the party’s candidate in the 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial District Election, Chief Victor Umeh, has said that Senator Uche Ekwunife has been disqualified by the Appeal Court from participating in the forthcoming rerun election.
Umeh said that the appellate court, which sat in Enugu and ordered for a rerun within 90 days, disqualified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ekwunife from featuring in the exercise.
He said Ekwunife’s disqualification was based on the fact her emergence as PDP candidate contravened the party’s constitution and also violated the 2010
Umeh told reporters in Enugu that the interpretation of the Court of Appeal judgement of December 7 that sacked Ekwunife as Anambra Central Senatorial district senator-elect implied that the PDP would not feature any other candidate, since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s guidelines for substitution of candidate expired on December 14, 2015.
Umeh disclosed that it was proved at the Court of Appeal that the purported PDP primaries which proclaimed Ekwunife as the party’s candidate contravened the guidelines of the party in “Exhibit P 1632” which stipulates for a special congress in which the ward delegates would participate, that a candidate would be nominated to contest election into the National Assembly.
The APGA candidate said that it was proved at the appellate court that the above guidelines of the PDP were not observed even as the party was polarised into factions, which presented different candidates for the election.
He explained that to his utmost dismay up to five PDP candidates were projecting and advertising their jingles on the electronic media, barely a few days to the Anambra Central Senatorial election. “Therefore, the electorates, including myself are generally confused who among Chief Annie Okonkwo, Hon Uche Ekwunife and three other candidates of the various factions was the exact candidate of the PDP.
“The PDP campaigned with five candidates against me in the Anambra Central Senatorial District election, each of them claiming to have won the PDP’s primaries!”
“We have heard that PDP is plotting to conduct a ward congress on January 7, 2016 and January 16 conduct a fresh primary for the re-run election. But it is a laughable matter in view of the fact that INEC guidelines for substitution of candidates elapsed on December 14, 2015,” Umeh said.