- Appeal Court Ruling could lead to another Civil War – Ojukwu
Chris Uba, the Self-acclaimed godfather of Anambra politics and member, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said he is opposed to the governorship ambition of former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, because his intent is “suspicious”.
And in another dimension to the drama in Anambra State politics, leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, has warned that there will be dire consequences if the Court of Appeal grants the prayers of the 2007 gubernatorial candidate of PDP in the state, Dr. Andy Uba, to return him to office.
Chris, who is also opposed to the ambition of his elder brother, Andy, to rule the state, has however promised to honour the state police command’s invitation which came on the heels of the kidnap of Soludo’s father.
He vowed to do everything within the law to stall Soludo’s governorship ambition.
Speaking to THISDAY at the weekend, Uba said: “I asked him (Soludo) why he wanted to be governor.
“I told him that Anambra State has gone through many political problems; that people are no longer comfortable with imposition. But Soludo believes that once a few people meet and give him the mandate, it is over and I told him such thing is no longer possible and not in the interest of our state. If this is why he is accusing me of kidnapping his father, then it is unfortunate. People who know me know I’m not a criminal.
“At the recent rally, the state exco of our party in Anambra said ‘no’ to the illegality of Soludo imposition. No amount of blackmail or intimidation can stop the opposition until the party corrects this Soludo mistake. By the way, Soludo is not a member of the PDP. What is his contribution to the well-being of our great party? Nothing.”
While further justifying why he is vehemently opposed to Soludo’s ambition, he said: “He (Soludo) left the banks with a big hole. He afflicted some Nigerian banks with financial cancer.”
Uba, who denied having anything to do with the kidnap of Pa Soludo, said he had promised the police he would see them this morning. He said the reason he did not attend the Friday meeting was because no formal invitation was extended to him, but that later on Friday he got a call from the command inviting him.
Meanwhile, Ojukwu has warned that there will be dire consequences if the Court of Appeal grants Andy Uba’s prayers.
Uba is asking the court to declare him governor of the state and swear him in upon the expiration of the tenure of incumbent Governor Peter Obi based on his (Uba) election as governor on April 14, 2007.
He had filed a suit over the governorship tussle at the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu after the Supreme Court struck out his case and lampooned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting the 2007 governorship poll in the state.
The apex court had in its verdict said Obi had not exhausted his tenure.
Andy at the appellate court is seeking a motion barring INEC from conducting a fresh election into the office of governor pending the determination of the new suit and a declaratory order on an earlier judgment by the same court that he remains the duly elected governor of Anambra in the April 14, 2007 election and requesting that the court direct that he take over from Obi on March 17, 2010 when his tenure is due to lapse.
The appellate court had penultimate week adjourned indefinitely for ruling in the said application after counsel in the matter adopted their written addresses.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Enugu, Ojukwu, who was the presidential candidate of APGA in the 2007 election, noted that apart from sparking off another round of constitutional crisis in the state, if the judgment favours Uba, the Court of Appeal would also be making an indirect call for another civil war.
He said since the apex court had made a ruling on the election, which it said ought not to have held, it would amount to setting wrong judicial precedence for the appellate court to vary such decision.
“On what basis will the appellate court deliver the judgment in favour of Uba? That is total fallacy. Nobody should even contemplate it because the apex court settled it when it said election ought not to have been held in the state in 2007 since there was no vacancy. If election ought not to have held, it also supposes that anything that comes out of such process is a nullity.
“The Appeal Court is no way superior to the Supreme Court. If there should not have been an election, there cannot be anything coming out from it. There is an incumbent governor and that incumbent governor has not fulfilled in absolute his tenure. I make no apologies to this, Anambra people are looking up to me and I’m sure most of them have already decided that if we have to fight again, I will be the commander-in-chief. So I want to make it clear before you and I am begging, please I am begging; do not drag us into another civil war.
“I make it quite clear that whatever we are playing with, we must know the full consequences of our actions. The full consequences are that we are stepping with our eyes open into another bloody conflict. I will not sit around and allow Anambra to be used as a balloon ball for children to kick around. No; we have our rights. We are a people. I will certainly, to the end, support justice for Anambra State.
“And then, one other point I state with my own concept of peace is a peace under the law. Therefore, what does the law say? The law makes it clear that the Supreme Court is supreme. One fundamental issue is that you cannot get something out of nothing, if there is no cause, then you cannot get a verdict,” he stated.
Continuing, the APGA leader stated that he was not disposed to participating in another civil war but warned that an action could always precipitate a reaction.
He said: “I don’t want to be part of a second civil war. But sadly, as we are playing games with our affairs in Anambra State, I also think we should understand that a pillar upon which justice stands is that the constitution is supreme.
“The constitution is clear on the steps to be taken on an issue that affects the governorship of a state; what that means is that there is no short cut; its either you follow the due process or you are not there at all.”