The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given reasons for excluding the names of Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Alliance (APGA) and Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the list of candidates for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
INEC published the list of contestants for the election on Friday with both Soludo and Ozigbo’s names surprisingly excluded.
While Rep Chukwuma Umeoji was listed for APGA instead of Soludo, the PDP had no candidate on the list.
Explaining the Commission’s action later on Politics Today monitored by Prime Business Africa, INEC’s commissioner on voter education, Festus Okoye, said INEC acted on court order stopping them not to publish Val Ozigbo as PDP candidate but confirmed that Val Ozigbo is the candidate that was produced from the primary they monitored. PDP has the opportunity to vacate this order.
On Soludo, Okoye said INEC acted on the order of court which recognized Jude Okeke led chairman which produced Umeoji. This Jigawa high court order until upturned by a higher Court, Umeorji remains the candidate of APGA.
Soludo has, however, vowed to go ahead and participate in the election despite the court order. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a statement his camp released yesterday, said he would contest the November 6 election despite the odds.
On his part, Chief Valentine Ayika, a director in the Valentine Chineto Ozigbo Campaign Organisation, has said that nothing had gone wrong with the development apart from its distractive value.
Ayika said the unfortunate thing about the development was that Ozigbo would not have his credentials scrutinised at the time as those of his contemporaries.
He expressed dismay that the court would stop an electoral process that was in progress against the provision of the Electoral Act, saying it was misled by some people.
He however said Ozigbo’s would be published 30 days to the election in line with guidelines after the cases would have been determined because they had no locus to challenge a process they did not belong to.