The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has removed the name of governorship of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Charles Soludo, and his running mate, Onyekachi Ibezim, from the list of cleared candidates for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
Messrs Soludo and Ibezim were replaced with Chukwuma Umeoji and Obiageli Orogbu as the candidate and deputy governorship candidate of APGA.
Also removed from the list are the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Valentine Ozigbo, and the deputy governorship candidate due to the subsisting court order on the primary that produced them.
INEC, however, cleared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Andy Uba and the deputy governorship candidate, Johnbosco Anaedobe, as well as the candidate of the YPP, Ifeanyi Ubah.
This is contained in a statement by INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, in Abuja on Friday.
The statement was titled “Publication of personal particulars of candidates for Anambra governorship election.”
“INEC met on Thursday, July 15, 2021 and among other things considered the List/personal particulars of candidates nominated by the various political parties for the Anambra State Governorship election scheduled to hold on 6th November 2021,” the statement said.
“The Commission also considered and took cognizance of the Judgments/Court Orders served on it in relation to the primaries of the political parties and other processes leading to the election.
“In line with section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) the personal particulars of the candidates will be published in the Commissions Notice Board in Awka, Anambra State while the names of the candidates, their gender, party, age, qualification and the Commission’s decision/ remarks are herein attached.
“The Commission will continue to act in consonance with the Constitution and the law and will continue to obey the judgments and orders of courts served on it.”
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Mr Soludo, a professor and former CBN Governor, controversially emerged the winner of the primary election organised on June 23 by the APGA faction loyal to Governor Willie Obiano. The faction is led by Victor Oye.
He got 740 votes to defeat five other aspirants, including Okwudili Ezenwanwko, who came a distant second in the primary election of the party with 41 votes.
However, another faction led by Jude Okeke rejected Mr Soludo’s emergence and subsequently organised a parallel primary on July 1.
Both Mr Ozigbo and Ugochukwu Uba had emerged as the PDP’s governorship candidate from parallel primary elections, thereby laying claim to the party ultimate ticket.
INEC said it skipped the names of both the PDP governorship and deputy candidates based on a court order.
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Thursday ordered the commission to suspend the moves to publish any name as the governorship candidate of Nigeria’s main opposition party in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Yusuf Halilu, in his ruling on an ex parte application filed by lawyers of Mr Ozigbo’s lawyers, ordered INEC not to publish any name from the party as the court continues to hear the case.
Mr Okoye said 17 political parties had been cleared to contest in the November 6 Anambra governorship race.