Don’t let Ngige drag you into voodoo politics, Umeh tells Buhari, APC
Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 28 April 2017 | 1,369 times
•APGA former National Chairman Victor Umeh.
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to allow the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, drag the Federal Government into disrepute through what he described as voodoo politics.
He criticised the Minister for the statement he was said to have made, to the effect that Anambra Central Senatorial rerun poll cannot hold until all pending cases are resolved.
Umeh who spoke with Journalists in Enugu accused Ngige of trying to cause anarchy in the state by making unwarranted statements. According to him, there is no outstanding legal impediment that will stop the election from taking place, adding that he is waiting on INEC to fix a date for the election.
“I was surprised to read these audacious statements by Dr. Chris Ngige, where he said the Anambra Central rerun poll cannot hold until all pending cases are cleared.
“My reaction first is to state clearly that there is nothing, no legal impediment anymore against the conduct of this Anambra Central election that has been pending.
“The cases Ngige was citing in his outburst clearly cannot stop INEC from conducting that election.
“The issue of the eligible candidates who can take part in a court ordered fresh election or rerun election has been permanently settled by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in its judgment in a case between Labour Party versus INEC, whose judgment was delivered on the 13th February 2009.
“That judgment was an endorsement of judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division on 10th April 2008, to the effect that elections that are ordered by court through nullification do not admit new candidates.
“My surprise stems from the fact that I could not fathom under what capacity Ngige was saying categorically that the poll can never take place until all court cases are cleared.
“He is the Minister of Labour and Employment; he does not work for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that is empowered by the constitution to conduct elections.
“I’m aware that INEC has a legal department that is staffed by qualified lawyers, and if there is any matter that will prevent the Commission from conducting election, the commission will say so at any point in time, based on prevailing circumstances.
“This is not the first time that Ngige has made this claim; he has made it before Easter on radio. Saying the same thing at an APC meeting corroborates all that we have been hearing that APC will do everything to ensure that INEC does not conduct that election.
“Labour Party had attempted to put a new candidate in a governorship election in Adamawa, which was nullified by the court of appeal tribunal, and the court of appeal, Kaduna division in a very detailed judgment said such an election doesn’t admit fresh candidate as only candidates that were qualified and took part in the earlier election can participate in the fresh election or rerun election.
“Labour party dragged the matter to Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court affirmed that judgment.
Unfortunately, people like Ngige are pretending not to know this position of the law.
“As early as January 2016, when PDP and APC purported to be trying to conduct a primary to choose candidates that will take part in the election, I cried out that the law does not permit such futile exercise, they didn’t want to accept it, and they continued.
Today, it is clear because INEC submitted to this decision of the Supreme Court in the conduct of all the fresh election ordered by the court of appeal across the country.”
Umeh further accused APC and PDP of failing to accept the position of the law and in so doing have continued to do all kinds of things to sabotage the law.
The former national Chairman of APGA recalled that in all the matters concerning the Anambra central Senatorial election, INEC was the only party sued, and Justice Chikere said they cannot do that.
Continuing, he said: “I now said, ‘Why? Is this one different?’ and they decided to appeal against it. Of course I applied to appeal against the matter as an interested party, but the judge refused me to be joined in the matter at the High Court. So, when the leave was granted to me, I appealed, INEC appealed, PDP now came with their notorious tactics of frustrating the appeal and challenged the record of the appeal transmitted by the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal non 22 July last year.”
Umeh also claimed that Obi’s purported candidature has been taken care of by the court judgment of Justice Anuli Chikelu as later court judgments are known to supersede earlier judgments.
The APGA Senatorial candidate also described the comment credited to Ngige as an indication that the party and government are dictating to INEC on how to conduct its affairs.
“Ngige has a long credential of political rigging and treachery and should not be allowed to plunge Anambra into anarchy.
“It was the same Ngige who in 2003 went into an unholy agreement including striping naked to take a vow of loyalty just to be rigged into office.
“His hasty reneging brought mayhem to the state, where properties worth billions were destroyed. This led to his kidnap, which caused the state to suffer for three years,” he stated.