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INEC postpones Anambra senate re-run indefinitely, parties despair

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*Triggers off  and events, as PDP now enters the race

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced an indefinite postponement of the senatorial re-run election for Anambra Central district earlier scheduled for this weekend.

This was announced by the INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in the state, Dr Lawrence Azubike, at the stakeholders’ meeting organized at the behest of the commission held at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, Awka. 

The development has already triggered off chains of events and reactions within political circles in the state

Disclosing this latest development, without any further explanation as to the nature of the court order, the REC said the turn of events was necessitated due to a court order.

It was however gathered that a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on Monday gave a judgement ordering INEC to include the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in the rerun election.

INEC had barred the PDP from participating in the rerun poll following a Court of Appeal judgement of 7th December, 2015 that nullified the March 28 election of the party’s candidate, Mrs Uche Ekwunife.

The appellate court had in the judgement averred that “the 11th respondent (Ekwunife) has been barred from participating in the Anambra Central senatorial election”. 

Ekwunife, APGA, Victor Umeh, Court of Appeal,

Following this development, the PDP approached the Federal High court, Abuja to cause INEC to allow it to participate in the rerun which the court granted the party’s plea Monday, culminating in the postponement of the poll by INEC yesterday apparently to enable the new entrants be accommodated in the ballot papers. Also to afford them time to campaign and intimate electorates.

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the rerun election, Chief Victor Umeh in his reaction yesterday described the new Federal High Court judgement as an absurd, and that it negated the principles of law that every decision of the court above should bind all courts below.

He maintained that a Federal High court lacked the power to assume jurisdiction in a matter already adjudicated by the Court of Appeal and threatened to drag the Federal High Court judge to the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for brazen impunity and misapplication of the law.

Umeh accused former governor of the state, Chief Peter Obi of plotting all this against him (Umeh). Hear him, “But we shall crush him and all his evil plans. That is why I said he should embrace Christ, because his mind is full of evil.”

An unconfirmed source named ex-governor Obi as looking good to emerge a consensus candidate of the PDP in the rerun poll. This was disclosed yesterday in Awka by one of his close allies, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike.

However, the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye has described PDP’s moves to bring out Obi into the race as mere wishful thinking.

According to him, “We are not afraid of any person in this election. We’ve the capacity to crush anybody in the rerun, including Obi but our argument is that Peter Obi is not qualified for this rerun.

“The law is clear on this, that only candidates that contested the annulled election shall be qualified to participate in the rerun. Obi is not part of it.’, Oye maintained.

From Chuks Collins, Awka

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