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Anambra Guber: INEC may disqualify APGA, PDP for Fielding Double Candidates

By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu


INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

As the Anambra state November 16th 2013 governorship polls draw near, there are fears that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may disqualify  the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and PDP for fielding double candidates.

The electoral body, had said it would invoke the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 which forbids parties from presenting double candidates for elections.

INEC disposition to disqualify APGA, our correspondent gathered was due to a recent Federal High Court order in Awka, Anambra State capital ordering INEC to accept the two factional candidates of APGA) Willy Obiano and Dr. Chike Obidigbo for the election pending the determination of the suit challenging the legality of the leadership of Chief Victor Umeh as the authentic national chairman of the party.

The development is now causing some ripples in APGA, especially as deadline for the submission of names of party candidates for the election to INEC elapsed on September 17th.

In his ruling in the suit, Justice M.T Salihu had noted that considering the urgency of the matter, the INEC must accept the names of the nominee of the first applicant (Okwu), as well as that of the Victor Umeh-led faction as governorship candidates of the APGA pending the determination of the case.

The Maxi Okwu-led faction of APGA had nominated an Enugu based industrialist, Dr. Chike Obidigbo as its governorship candidate to the election, as against the nomination of Chief Willy Obiano by the Umeh-led group.

While Okwu expressed satisfaction with the judgment, Umeh in his reaction dismissed the order, saying it was not possible.

Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also fronting two candidates, Tony Nwoye and Senator Andy Uba, both emerged from parallel primaries of the party conducted by factional state chairmen Prince Ken Emeakayi and Ejike Oguebego.

Okwu faction said that like the case of Rivers State in 2007, the authentic candidate of the APGA would emerge the next governor of Anambra State if the party won the November 16 election.

However, until recently, Kayode  Idowu, the chief press secretary  to the INEC  Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had told newsmen   that  the Maxi Okwu faction was yet to submit any name to the commission.

He maintained that the commission still recognizes the Chief Victor Umeh as the APGA chairman, based on court directives. Kayode noted that the INEC, as an impartial body, would not disobey any court order.


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