Newsflash: Soludo Down and Out; Loses at the Appeal Court!

SoludoFormer governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Professor Charles Soludo has been banned from parading himself as the PDP candidate and thus unable to participate in the scheduled February 6 2010, governorship race in Anambra State as the Appeal Court today declared that Soludo is not fit to take part in 2010 election. 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja today sat to determine whether Soludo’s nomination followed due process following a suit filed by some aggrieved members of the party which has since caused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put his candidature in abeyance.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had insisted that Soludo CBN, remains de-listed as also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also said the fate of its governorship candidate in the February 6, 2010 Anambra state election lies in the hands of God as it awaits the decision of the Appeal Court over whether or not Professor Chukwuma Soludo validly emerged as the governorship candidate for the party in the election.

The Court of Appeal’s three-man panel headed by Justice Mary Odili had fixed last Monday for judgment on the case brought before it by former governorship aspirants of the party in Anambra State including Mr. Valentine Ozigboh, Mrs. Victoria Nwakwo, Mrs. Nkoli Imo and Mr. Ferdinand Okoye. 

INEC had insisted that Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, remains de-listed from the list of contestants for the scheduled February 6 2009, governorship race in Anambra State except the court amends the present situation that he is fit to participate via a declaration today.

This was disclosed in a chat with INEC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Umenger yesterday.

According to him, the commission as a law abiding body had no choice than to follow the due process of law as stipulated by the constitution.

He explained further that “if you observe, we stayed clear off all the intra party wranglings because we do not want to be seen to be partisan in any form.”“We equally made sure transparency  remains our hallmark as far as the Anambra poll is concerned hence we have done all within our reach to ensure a credible governorship election come next year.”

“Whatever the outcome of the judgment, we shall abide by it and carry out its instructions to the latter. Our position is that Soludo remains de-listed until then”he added..Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is determined to abide by whatever ruling is given by the Appeal Court today on the suitability of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as its candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

The party’s assertions nonetheless, several party stakeholders are pledging to oppose his candidature should the court affirm him as the rightful candidate of the party.

Party stakeholders cite what they allege to be arrogance and aloofness for their opposition.It could be recalled that an Appeal court in Abuja had halted the former apex bank boss from parading himself as the gubernatorial candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  which made the apex electoral body to drop his name from the list of the contestants last week.Also, last week in Awka the state capital of Anambra State at a stakeholders confab hosted by INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu announced the names in the approved list and the name of Soludo was missing.

He had told the stakeholders that the list of candidates that were announced would be published and compact disks containing the list of all registered voters would be given to each of the political parties for scrutiny,Iwu had also told them that “to ensure neutrality and transparency, all electoral officers would be transferred out and candidates were free to send their chief agents to take down the serial numbers on ballot papers at the point of distribution on the eve of the election.” 

In another development, About 3,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party have defected to the Labour Party to swell the support for the candidate of the party, Dr Andy Uba, in the 6 February 2010 governorship election in Anambra State.

Director of Andy Uba Campaign Organization, Mr Peter Okala, who spoke with reporters  yesterday, said the defection of some PDP members was expected because Uba not only touched the lives of the members of the party and the people of the state, but also sponsored all the members of  national and state assemblies.

He said already, 14 political parties have indicated their willingness to defect to LP to give Uba the support he needed to sweep the poll in February.Okala, who is opposed to the emergence of  the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo, as PDP’s candidate, faulted the process through which the National Working Committee of the PDP made the selection, describing it as undemocratic.

He boasted that Uba would still win convincingly in any platform because the structures he built in the PDP would be transferred to his new party, saying that Uba, if given the mandate again, would give Anambra people the desired good governance.