Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka, the state capital, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to list former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6 governorship election in the state.
The ruling replaces Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji as the APGA candidate. INEC had published his name as candidate based on an order of a Federal High Court sitting in Jigawa State which compelled it to do so.
The presiding judge, Justice C. C. Okaa, gave the order yesterday while delivering judgement in an application brought to the court by national chairman of APGA Chief Victor Oye.
Okaa also held that Oye is the bona fide national chairman of APGA contrary to claims made by two other persons, Chief Jude Okeke and Chief Edozie Njoku, to the position.
The Okeke faction fielded the member representing Aguata federal constituency of Anambra State, Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji as APGA candidate. Njoku however emerged as the APGA candidate for his faction.
Justice Okaa delivered the judgement under tight security. Heavily armed police operatives led by one Umar Garba were stationed at the entrance to the court. Newsmen were barred from entering the court.
Reacting, the Okeke-led leadership dismissed the ruling declaring Soludo as candidate of the party.
Its national publicity secretary, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, told newsmen in Abuja that the existing judgement by a High Court in Jigawa State subsists.
He said as a court with the same jurisdiction, the earlier judgment can’t be dismissed. He said only a higher court can vacate it.