UPDATE: Senator Stella Oduah On Friday in Abuja, described as “a misinterpretation”, media reports which quoted a Supreme Court judgment to have sacked her and other federal lawmakers from Anambra.
OUR EARLIER REPORT: Supreme Court Sack All Anambra Legislators, *Restores Chris Uba, Annie Okonkwo, John Emeka and Oguebego
The Supreme Court “political tsunami” has swept away Senators Andy Uba, and Stella Oduah. Others include Anayo Nnebe, Obinna Chidoka, Lynda Ikpeazu, Emeka Anohu, Eucharia Azodo, Chris Azubogu, amongst other three.
The Supreme Court this morning reaffirmed the Anambra state Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) chairmanship of Chief Ejike Oguebego as the authentic executive, hence be related with by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on issues of the last general election.
By the unanimous verdict, the list of nominated party candidates in the last election from the Oguebego-led executive was the only one to be recognized by the INEC.
So, Chris Uba, John Emeka and Annie Okonkwo are the duly nominated senatorial candidates for Anambra South, Central and North in the March 28,2015 general election.
This has therefore caused what has been described as “political tsunami” as it has swept away Senators Andy Uba, and Stella Oduah.
Others include Anayo Nnebe, Obinna Chidoka, Lynda Ikpeazu, Emeka Anohu, Eucharia Azodo, Chris Azubogu amongst other three.
Before now there were palpable fears in Awka on what might happen. Tension had seized both camps until now.
However, Senator Annie Okonkwo has commended the Supreme Court for restoring all hopes to reaffirm the judiciary as the last hope of the common man and the injured.
Wild jubilation had erupted within the court, outside, and in Awka.
The court also confirmed that copies of the judgement are ready for collection.
Ubah, Oduah denies reports:
Reports in the media said that the apex court had ordered the replacement of Oduah and other federal lawmakers from the state saying that their nomination to contest in the 2015 election was wrong.
In a statement issued by Cynthia Ferdinand, Press Secretary to the Senator, Oduah said that the report in the media was misleading as the apex court did not order the withdrawal of her certificate of return.
She said that the judgement of the Supreme Court said that it was only the National Executive Council of a political party that had the legal right to sponsor candidates in an election.
Oduah, therefore, stressed that she and all the other lawmakers from Anambra state have not been sacked by the Supreme Court contrary to media reports.
A Lawyer told elombah.com: Page 37 of the judgment of today stated that the case “was not about the conduct of a primary election nor a dispute over which organ of the political party i.e.the PDP that has the authority and competence to conduct a primary election”.
Annie Okonkwo, Chris Ubah, and Prince Emeka were not parties to the suit. It’s only Oguebego n his Exco that were parties to the suit. Together with Section 141 of d Electoral Act, the only sensible interpretation of the judgment bears towards conducting new primaries in d 3 Sen zones. The judgment benefits Oguebego, going forward; but not relating back …
1. Section 141 prevents the Courts/Judgments from declaring a winner any candidate who didn’t participate in ALL the stages of the election. Annie Okonkwo, Esele, etc did not participate in the general election.
2. It is not really the State Exco that has the final (or ALL the) say on primaries. Delegates/national leadership have roles to play … per the judgment in the Ekwunife matter.
3. It’s even possible that the reach or interpretation of the judgment can be tested in a new suit filed at the High Court; and injunctions can ensue against any over-broad interpretation that seeks to preclude a new primary.
Ms Oduah said: It is pertinent to note that this is a mere misinterpretation of the Supreme Court rulings and should be disregarded in all entirety. The Supreme Court did not order the withdrawal of the Certificates of Return issued by the Commission. It did not hold that the faction of the PDP had the right to sponsor candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It did not equally authorise the Commission to substitute our clients with the individuals whose names were on the list improperly allowed by the Commission. Series of judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria states that it is only the National Executive of the party that has the vires to sponsor candidates,” she said.
Meanwhile, the solicitors to the nine lawmakers allegedly sacked, have written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to also fall into the folly of misunderstanding the judgment.
Expressing surprise, Oduah, former Minister of Aviation, decried the media hype that had been generated over the issue, saying it was needless.
Hear her: “I’m as surprised as many people who have been calling me. In all its entirety, it is false. I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect. Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.”
“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case. The Judge was very clear on its judgment and it clearly says its not about who emerges or the election but about the legality of the excos,” she said.
“I was shocked because I knew we went through the right primaries.”
Echoing her position, Uba, argued that the dispute in the state did not affect the election, because the primaries were conducted by the national executives of the party. “It is the national executive of the party that conducts election. So, what the court decided was the issue of who is the chairman of the party and not who emerged in the primaries. The judgement did not affect us,” he said.
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