A High Court in Anambra State has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to publish the name of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo immediately as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6, 2021 governorship election in the state.
The court also ordered INEC to remove the name of Chukwuma Umeoji as APGA candidate and asked Umeoji to stop parading himself as such.
The court reaffirmed Victor Ike Oye as the indisputable national chairman of APGA and ordered Edozie Njoku and Jude Okeke to stop parading themselves as national chairmen of APGA.
Recall that Soludo’s name was replaced with that of Umeoji as APGA’s candidate in the list of candidates published by INEC on Friday.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, had in a statement after the release of the list, said the decision to replace Soludo’s name with Umeoji’s was based on obedience to court order served on INEC in relation to the primary of the political party and other processes leading to the election.
In his reaction to the exclusion of his name by INEC, Soludo had vowed to go ahead and participate in the election.
Reacting to the INEC publication through a statement by his media aide, Joe Anatune, Soludo had insited on contesting the November 6 election despite the odds.
The statement partly read, “The Chukwuma Soludo Campaign has been briefed on a publication by the Independent National Electoral Commission where Honourable Chukwuma Umeorji has been published as the candidate of the APGA in the November 6, 2021, gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
“The INEC publication is based on a judgment by a High Court in Jigawa State, and the electoral body sensibly wrote that its inclusion of Umeorji as a candidate in the election is “By Judgment”.
“Our millions of supporters in Anambra State and elsewhere in the world are advised not to be dispirited by the publication seriously.
“Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo will participate in the governorship election as the APGA candidate. His nomination was strictly in line with the Electoral Law and INEC guidelines. INEC observed the APGA Congress on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, where he was nominated after winning 93.4 per cent of the valid votes cast in a free, fair and transparent manner which was broadcasted live on national television networks as part of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria.”