By Okey Maduforo Awka.

The failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to publish list of candidates for the Anambra state gubernatorial election billed for November 6th 2021 as was announced for August 7th is currently causing confusion in the state as several lists have been flying on social media.

Even when this reporter searched on the commission's website for the list of candidates, there was no publication and when this reporter contacted an INEC staff he asked the reporter to be patient as the list would be released when it is ready.

This confusion may not have been unconnected with reports that the name of former Central Bank of Nigeria CBN governor Prof Charles Soludo of APGA and Mr Valentine Ozigbo of the PDP were not on the list which is not true as at Saturday 7th August 2021.

The confusion was made manifest when a certain letter to INEC signed by factional Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA Chief Jude Okeke urging the commission to publish the name of Hon Chukwuma Umeoji as candidate of the party was being circulated on the social media.

Similarly another report suspected to have been written and published by a fraction of the People's Democratic Party PDP loyal to Chief Chris Uba had claimed that the name of Mr Valentine Ozigbo is not on the list but that of Ugochukwu Uba as candidate.

In a release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of APGA Bar Tex Okechukwu contended that the information is unfounded adding that there are pending matters at the court hence there cannot be a list of candidates omitting the name of Soludo.

We wish to state unequivocally that Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo remains the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6, 2021 Governorship Election.

We also state that up till date, it was only Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo that meticulously fulfilled all the requirements enunciated by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the INEC Election Manual and the 2021 Electoral Guidelines of APGA for the 2021 Anambra State Governorship Election.

It is also clear that the period permitted by law for the conduct of party primary for the election, downloading, uploading and submission of particulars of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of political parties ended on July 16, 2021. Anything done thereafter without final judgment of court is null and void and of no consequence.

Going by the above, it is indisputable that APGA under the able leadership of Ozonkpu Dr Victor Ike Oye vigorously worked to meet the various timeliness outlined in the laws regulating the conduct of activities of political parties toward the November 6 Anambra State Governorship Election.

We find it detestable that some disgruntled elements masquerading as officers of the party would indulge in brazen acts of illegality and fraud aimed at hoodwinking the unsuspecting members of the public.

We have studied the so-called nomination form claimed by some persons to have been issued to one Chukwuma Umeoji as APGA candidate, which he purportedly filled and returned to INEC on August 5, 2021 and state without any grain of doubt that everything about it was inchoate, irregular and doubtful.

There are three sets of forms issued to every registered political party by INEC for the Anambra State Governorship Election. These forms were EC 9, EC 9B and EC 13B.

But in the said fake letter in circulating they claimed to have submitted only Form EC 13B. This is curious!

These forms were issued to Ozonkpu Dr..Victor Ike Oye by INEC as the national chairman of APGA and he subsequently issued the same to Professor Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim who completed them and returned. The forms were then uploaded to INEC using a special code.

Let it be known that there was no way INEC would have issued such forms to Chukwuma Umeoji when the matter is still in court.

For now, the only National Chairman and National Secretary recognized by INEC are Ozonkpu Dr Victor Ike Oye and HE Labaran Maku, CON, respectively.

In the same vein, the only candidate duly known to law and INEC is Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo (and his deputy, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim).

We urge our teeming supporters to discountenance the social media propaganda, remain law abiding and await the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division.

Also speaking the Director General of PDP New Media Mr Anthony Ezike contended that there cannot be a list with the name of Sen Ugochukwu Uba as candidate when a recent judgement of the Appeal Court had restored the executive of Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu as the authentic leadership of the party in Anambra state.

The implication of this judgement is that the purported primary election conducted by the Chris Uba faction of the party is illegal and of no effect hence cannot produce the name of Sen Ugochukwu Uba as candidate of the party.

Since that judgement was delivered it has not been set aside by a higher court hence it subsists and that makes Valentine Ozigbo the candidate of the PDP in Anambra state.
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ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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