A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the fresh election for Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Justice Anwuli Chikere also set aside INEC’s public notice titled, INEC/SEC/314’ of February 1, 2016, which excluded PDP and its candidate from participating in the court-ordered fresh election for the Anambra Central Senatorial seat.
The party had informed the court that Uche Ekwunife, its former candidate for the March 28, 2015 election had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the nullification of her election by an Appeal Court in Enugu, which also ordered a re-run within 90 days
However, Ekwunife in a fresh application before the Appeal Court in Enugu is asking the court to review the nullification of her election based on the Supreme Court ruling in governorship election petitions.
Her argument was that an outsider cannot raise the issue of how a party conducts its primary elections. The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh had filed the appeal, challenging Ekwunife’s victory.
In the originating summons filed by PDP’s counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), the party had contended that by the provisions of Section 140 (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010, INEC has no right to exclude it from the court-ordered fresh election for the Anambra Central Senatorial District slated for March 5, 2016.
Apparently in response to the dispute surrounding the poll, INEC has postponed the March 5, re-run election for Anambra Central Senatorial District indefinitely.
Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, Dr. Lawrence Azubuike in Awka yesterday said he received a directive from the National Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the commission’s Commissioner in-charge of elections, Hajia Amina Zakari, to postpone the exercise.
He said the postponement was because of court order restraining INEC from conducting the election.