Disquiet as INEC delists Ebonyi PDP candidates from general elections

0
103

BY DAVID NWANKWO, ABAKALIKI

Uba Group

There is an uneasy calm in the camp of the People’s Democratic Party in Ebonyi State following the delisting of the party’s candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission from the forthcoming general elections.

A check by our correspondent on INEC’s website shows that the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the party, Ifeanyi Ọdịi and Senator Igwe Nwagu were conspicuously missing on the updated list released by the Commission.

Also the names of the three senatorial candidates of the party, Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North), Lazarus Ogbee (Ebonyi Central) and Senator Ama Nnachi (Ebonyi South) were missing from the list.

Five out of the six House of Representatives candidates were also not included on the updated list.

Those whose names were missing are: Idu Igariwey (Afikpo North/South), Jerry Obasi (Ọhaozara/Onicha/Ivo), Vitalis Ogbonna Nwanne (Ikwo/Ezza South), Chukwuma Ofoke (Abakaliki/Izzi), and Victor Aleke (Ebonyi/Ohaukwu).

On the updated INEC list, Emmanuel Nwite was listed as the candidate of PDP for Íshíelu/Ezza North constituency in place of Obinna Nwachukwu who was listed as the candidate on the earlier list released in September.

Also, the Commission listed one Henry Udeh as the Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Ebonyi South instead of Linus Okorie who was listed as the candidate on the earlier list released in September.

The amended list was signed by Secretary of INEC, Rose Oriaran-Anthony and published on the Commission’s website.

The Commission explained that the updated list was pursuant to various court orders which it was bound to abide with.

“The Commission published the final list of candidates for Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections on 20th September, 2022 and Governorship and State House of Assembly elections on 4th October, 2022 in accordance with the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Elections”, the statement accompanying the new list explained.

INEC noted that “after the said publication, the Commission was served Orders of Court in respect of the nomination of candidates for Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections.

“It is worthy of note that the list of candidates was amended in Amendment No. 1 published on the Commission’s website on 3rd November, 2022 pursuant to Court Orders and Death.”

“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Commission is bound to enforce the Orders of Court on the Nomination of candidates by political parties in the affected Constituencies.

“Consequently, the lists of candidates in respect of the attached Senatorial Districts and Federal Constituencies, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections are amended pursuant to the Orders of Court served on the Commission as at 21st December, 2022 for upload on the Commission’s website,” the statement added.

When contacted by The Point, the State Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mudi Irhenede said he was not aware of the updated list and promised to make inquiries.

He said:” You are just telling me about it right now. I am not aware. Let me find out.”

Also, Abia Onyike, the spokesperson to Odii, the PDP governorship candidate, declined comment on the new list saying he was not aware of its existence.

“CBN"

The PDP in Ebonyi State has been embroiled in crisis following the primaries which were held last year.

Two parallel primaries had held in the state with two governorship candidates, Ifeanyi Odii and Senator Obinna Ọgba emerging from the two primaries

The same situation occurred in the National Assembly and State House of Assembly primaries.

This consequently led to suits and counter suits in various courts across the country as candidates attempted to outwit each other for the tickets.

There was also a battle for the state chairmanship of the party between Messrs. Silas Ọnụ and Tochukwu Okorie.

As of the time of this report, it was not immediately clear which ruling or rulings led to the delisting of the candidates by INEC.