An Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka has ordered INEC to list Senator Ugochukwu Uba as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November 6, Anambra State governorship election.
Justice Obiora Nwabunike of the State High Court 5, who gave the order in his judgment in a suit by Senator Ugochukwu Uba against the INEC, PDP and Valentine Ozigbo (as respondents/defendants). He also ordered the defendants to pay Uba the sum of N10 million as expenses incurred in prosecuting the matter in the court.
He held that PDP’s governorship primary held at Professor Dora Akunyili Women Developed Centre, Awka, where Ozigbo emerged as a candidate, was held in breach of an existing court order.
The judge, however, held that the PDP faction which conducted its primary at the Paul University, Awka, on June 26, obeyed the subsisting order of an Abuja High Court presided by Justice A. O. Adeniyi.
He held that Justice Adeniyi had ordered the PDP to conduct the governorship primary using “Congress delegates list” but, instead of obeying the order of the court, the national leadership of the PDP used “super delegates”.
Justice Nwabunike held that though the the Nigeria constitution 1999 ( as amended), Electoral Act 2020 (as amended) as well as PDP constitution gave PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) powers to make guidelines for the nomination of candidate of the party for an election, such power could not be exercised in defiance to a subsisting order of a court.
While Mr Emeka Nwankwo represented Uba, Alex Ejesieme, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Ozigbo, was absent.
Meanwhile, Justice H. A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, also, sitting in Awka has ordered both the PDP, and, INEC to “maintain the status quo” as it concerned the issue of the candidate of PDP for the election.
Ozigbo’s counsel, Ejesieme, said the status quo referred to by Justice Nganjiwa was based on an earlier order which recognised Ozigbo as PDP candidate, adding that the court never made an order stopping Ozigbo from parading himself as candidate.
Justice Nganjiwa adjourned further hearing on the substantive suit to September 26, 2021.