Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Anambra Central: No polls unless all court cases are cleared – Ngige

By Vincent Ujumadu

Awka

VOTERS in Anambra Central senatorial zone, whose zone is the only one yet to have a representation at the country’s upper legislative house, may wait longer to elect their senator, as Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has insisted that there would be no election unless all the outstanding court cases on the matter were disposed of.

Addressing reporters at Alor, his home town, Ngige observed that some of the judgments delivered on the matter had been inconsistent, adding that under such a situation, it might be difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct the rerun election in the zone. Ngige said: “I participated in the senatorial election as the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, and Chief Victor Umeh participated as the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. Uche Ekwunife also participated and she was declared winner, but the court nullified her election and barred her party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from participating in the rerun. “Because of national assignment, I declined to contest the rerun and INEC refused somebody who was to be used to substitute me and also refused to allow former governor, Peter Obi, to contest on the platform of PDP. “We all went back to court and the court ruled last month that my party cannot substitute me, even though the Court of Appeal did not disqualify our party from fielding a fresh candidate. “INEC had appealed the judgment of Justice Chikere of the Federal High Court, who later ruled that PDP can present a new candidate. As at today, APC is also at the Court of Appeal against the ruling of Justice Chikere because the court cannot be speaking from both sides of its mouth. “It disqualified us and allowed PDP, that was barred by the Court of Appeal, to field a fresh candidate. So, we are asking the Court of Appeal to look at this scenario to find out if the Court of Appeal is correct in what it is doing. Therefore, unless all these court processes are determined, no election will take place in Anambra Central. “There is also the provision that says that elections should be conducted within 90 days from the day of the nullification of Ekwunife’s election, which has also been breached. That is where we are and they are like cobwebs that must be cleared.” “What my party is only doing is asking that justice be done to it in this matter.”

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