INEC, PDP in order over Ugwuanyi as Enugu governorship candidate
THE publication of the name of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State does not violate any pending legal suit.
Making the clarification yesterday in a statement in Enugu, a chieftain of the party in Enugu and an Abuja-based lawyer, Chief Onwurah Aniagboso dismissed media reports accusing the PDP of violating a purported court order restraining it from recognizing Ugwuanyi as the party’s governorship candidate in Enugu.
According to Aniagboso, the PDP had addressed the matter extensively before now explained and “as a law abiding party the PDP could not have disobeyed an order that is inexistent in the first place.”
He explained that, “there are two pending cases on the Enugu PDP governorship primary before Justice S.E Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja. One was filed by Senator Ayogu Eze against the PDP, but Ugwuanyi’s counsel, P.I.N Ikwueto (SAN) applied and Ugwuanyi was joined in the suit, while another case is Dr. Samuel Onyishi V. PDP.”
He added that although Senator Eze asked for an ex-parte order to restrain the PDP from submitting Ugwuanyi’s name to INEC as Enugu PDP governorship candidate, the court turned down the prayer and demanded that the PDP and INEC be put on Notice.
Chief Aniagboso said that PDP’s counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), filed a preliminary objection on resumption of the case on December 18, contesting the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case, which had been adjourned to January 14, 2015. The case was not heard due to the industrial action embarked upon by the judicial workers union.
He said: “The court did not grant any prayer by Onyishi’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) seeking to restrain the PDP from submitting Ugwuanyi’s name to INEC or restraining INEC from accepting Ugwuanyi as Enugu PDP governorship candidate.
He clarified further that going by the Supreme Court ruling on Senator Yakubu Lado vs. CPC, which leaves political parties at liberty to decide which is an authentic primary election where parallel primaries occur, coupled with the failure of the two litigants to participate in the primary election, he was convinced Ugwuanyi was “home and dry.”