Group to INEC: Do not renege on January 13 Anambra Central senatorial election •Umeh says nothing will stop ballot

Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 28 December 2017 | 937 times

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The Anambra Grassroots United has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to renege in conducting the scheduled January 13 Anambra Central Senatorial district election.

Addressing journalists in Awka, the leader of the group, Mr Okafor Amokwu, said INEC should save the people of the zone the agony of not being represented at the upper legislative chamber since 2015.

His words: “Today INEC has two judgements on its hands about this election. One, is a Federal High Court judgement ordering it to issue a certificate of return to Chief Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as the senator representing the district.

“Two is the judgement of the Court of Appeal ordering INEC to conduct the district election within 90 days which as a consequence made INEC to fix the poll for January 13.

“Now, it’s trite and settled law that when equities are equal, the first in time/first in place prevails. Since the Court of Appeal order was the first issued to INEC in this respect, the electoral body has no reason to look at the Federal High Court judgement. Not only that, according to the sanctity of hierarchy of courts, a Federal High Court cannot assume jurisdiction in a matter already decided by the Court of Appeal.

“So, in the light of this, we submit that INEC should conduct this election as scheduled on January 13, because nothing in law is stopping it.”

Similarly, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, in the January 13 re-run, Chief Victor Umeh, has expressed optimism that INEC would conduct the poll.

In an interview with journalists in Awka, Umeh said nothing would prevent the election from being held on the date already fixed by INEC describing the claim by a PDP Chieftain, Obiora Okonkwo that he will be sworn-in as the senator for district as a huge joke.

Okonkwo, had, through his lawyers after the Justice John Tsoho judgement in Federal High Court, Abuja asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him with the certificate of return after forwarding the judgement to them.

But Umeh, in his reaction, further explained that the Court of Appeal judgement of December 7, 2015 had nullified the result of the March 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial District election.

“The claim by the chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party is a nullity and cannot be enforced. Besides, the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act have guaranteed the January 13, 2018 date already fixed by INEC for the Anambra Central Senatorial District re-run election.”

He called on the electorate in the senatorial district to brace up for the re-run poll and exercise their franchise for effective representation at the senate.

News Express reports that the Court of Appeal had on December 7, 2016 sacked the former occupant of the position, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, for improper nomination by her political party, PDP.


Source: News Express

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