The candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra Central senatorial re-run election, Chief Victor Umeh, has threatened to use legal means to stop former governor Peter Obi of the state from participating in the rerun.
The rerun, which ought to have taken place on March 5, 2016, was postponed indefinitely by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, following a court order obtained by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to include it in the re-run. Since then, some interest groups, including former governors in the senate, have been mounting pressure on Obi to join the race and there were indications that the former governor might have succumbed to the pressures.
INEC had earlier barred the PDP from participating in the election as it stated that the December 7, 2015 Court of Appeal judgment that nullified the March28, 2015 election of the PDP’s candidate, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife also stopped the party.
Addressing reporters at the Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State weekend where he was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Political Science, Umeh described the decision of the former governor to join the race as an illegality, arguing that the Supreme Court had in plethora of cases said a fresh election resulting from an annulled election was a rerun and only those who contested the annulled election would be qualified to participate in the rerun.
The former National Chairman of APGA described the Federal High Court’s judgment that ordered INEC to include PDP in the rerun as one ambush that would crash, insisting that the High Court had no powers under any law to delve into an area the Supreme Court had sufficiently covered the ground.
Umeh said: “I didn’t come into politics to make money. I am into politics to sanitize the system. Obi and his group will not contest this election. We won’t allow this perfidy of theirs. I have been in court all through my political career and I will continue to do that, especially in this rerun.
“Obi’s campaign posters that are all over the place for this rerun are efforts in futility. He won’t contest this election. Anambra is not the only place a rerun has been ordered by a court. So, all these things are illegality and cannot stand.” However, a former commissioner during the Peter Obi administration, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, a lawyer, claimed what the Court of Appeal ordered was a fresh election.
He said: “The Court of Appeal judgement was made in simple in English language and it said ‘ go and conduct a fresh election within 90 days. What this means is that everything will start all over again, and anybody who is interested can participate. That was what the Abuja Federal High Court affirmed when it ordered INEC to include PDP in the rerun, and PDP has endorsed Obi for the Anambra Central rerun.” (Vanguard)