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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Anambra central rerun: Court bars APC from contesting, paves way for APGA

A Federal High Court in Abuja has paved way for a ‘smooth sail’ to victory for the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, in the Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election by dashing the hopes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to field a candidate in the election.
The Court dismissed a suit brought by Sharon Ikeazor seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept her as a substitute to Dr. Chris Ngige.
Ikeazor had dragged the INEC before Justice Anwuli Chikere, asking the court to compel the electoral umpire to accept her as the candidate of the party in place of Ngige who had withdrawn from the election.
However, delivering judgment on the matter in Abuja, Justice Chikere held that the time for political parties to nominate candidates for elective position in respect of the 2015 elections had elapsed.
The judge held: “The time for the nomination, withdrawal or substitution of candidates for the court-ordered election in Anambra Central senatorial district has elapsed.
“As decided by the Court of Appeal in the case of Labour Party against INEC, there is no room for fresh candidates in a court-ordered election.”
Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
Meanwhile, Victor Umeh, while reacting to the judgment appealed to the INEC to hasten up the conduct of the Anambra Central senatorial rerun poll.
Umeh said: “The INEC has nothing holding it anymore from going ahead to conduct the Anambra Central senatorial election going by the judgement by the Federal High Court Abuja which dismissed the suit by Sharon Ikeazor seeking to compel INEC to accept her as a substitute to Ngige for Anambra Central re-run election which is consistent with the law and the firm position of INEC on the matter all along.”
It could be recalled that the Supreme Court had dismissed the appeal filed by Mrs. Uche Ekwunife challenging the refusal of the Court of Appeal to set aside its earlier judgement of December 7, 2015.
The judgement had sacked her as the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, and also barred the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from fielding a candidate in the rerun senatorial election
Source: Daily Post
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