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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Anambra guber: More confusion over APGA, PDP candidates

Anambra guber: More confusion over APGA, PDP candidates
•As Court gives Ukachukwu victory over Nwoye
•Maxi Okwu submits Obidigbo’s name as APGA candidate
From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The confusion over the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) worsened yesterday with a ruling by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu be made PDP governorship candidate in the place of Comrade Tony Nwoye.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Federal High Court, Awka, granted an ex-parte order, directing that the names of two factional candidates of APGA, Mr. Willie Obiano and Dr. Chike Obidigbo, be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
Also yesterday, the APGA factional chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu submitted the name of his own gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Obidigbo, to INEC in line with the orders of the Awka Federal High Court.
The ruling by the Port Harcourt High Court against Nwoye was consequent upon a suit filed by Ukachukwu, who was a gubernatorial aspirant and runner up in the primary election that produced Nwoye in which he alleged that Nwoye forged tax clearance certificate and other relevant documents.
He had in his suit prayed the court to rule that Nwoye was not the candidate of the PDP on ground of forgery of certificates and urged the court to declare him candidate of the PDP in place of Nwoye.
Presiding Judge, Justice S.A Aliyu granted his (Ukachukwu) prayers and declared that Nwoye was culpable to the alleged crime of forgery and ruled that in his place Ukachukwu should be made candidate of the PDP.
However, a member of Nwoye’s campaign organisation and former member of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Uchenna Umerie, confirmed the court ruling but said it was a non issue, as the PDP had closed the issue of party candidacy and submitted Tony Nwoye’s name as candidate of the party.
Prince Ukachukwu in his reaction told newsmen that “I am already in Abuja to present myself as the candidate of the PDP in Anambra State and I am happy that the court has given its final judgment that due to the forgery, Tony Nwoye is not the candidate of the party and the second person in the primaries becomes the candidate of the party and there is nothing anybody can do about it.”
On the issue of Senator Andy Uba, Ukachukwu said: “Andy Uba never took part in the primary election of PDP. There was no primary election that produced him as candidate of the PDP so, he cannot be claiming to be candidate of the party. So, Andy Uba is not in the picture at all.”
Meanwhile, Chief Okwu told newsmen yesterday that he had submitted Obidigbo’s name, saying: “Yes, it has been done in line with what the court order said and the matter in court will continue until it is determined. We still have time to dispense with the matter in court. So, there is nothing to fear about and APGA will have one candidate.” In his own reaction the state chairman of APGA, Chief Mike Kwentoh, called for patience for INEC to make known who the party’s candidate is.
The state, as at press time, is under serious tension, as the confusion seemed unending, though it was giving parties like All Progressives Congress (APC)  and Labour Party (LP) and their candidates, Senator Chris Ngige and Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah greater opportunities to penetrate the APGA and PDP ranks.

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