By Vincent Ujumadu & Henry Umoru
AWKA â€” HOPES of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to hold its Anambra State Congress to produce a candidate for next Februaryâ€™s governorship election in the state were finally dashed, yesterday, as an Anambra High Court slammed a fresh injunction restraining the party from holding any such congress.
However, stakeholders in the state have resolved to hold a statutory delegates’ meeting today in Abuja to enable the party come up with a consensus candidate even as INECâ€™s deadline for the submission of names of candidates expires at midnight today.
Yesterdayâ€™s injunction came just as officials of the party were making spirited efforts to vacate an earlier injunction issued by the same court, last Thursday.
Three members of the party namely, Alphonsus Igwebuike, Mrs. Gladys Ebele Aduaka and Okey Ojibe, obtained an injunction from an Ekwulobia High Court stopping the national chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Anambra State congress committee, Dimeji Bankole from conducting the congress.
The order was given by Hon. Justice B.A Nwankwo.
The latest injunction is a fresh setback for the party which National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke, has been in the state battling to vacate the order given last week by the same judge on the issue.
The plaintiffs had sought an interim order restraining the defendants by themselves, their servants, officers, agents, privies or otherwise however, from holding any state congress fixed for the 8th October, 2009 being organised in furtherance of the ward of state congress for selection or election of Anambra State governorship candidate for2010 election, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
In the 16-paragraph order, the court granted an interim injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, officers agents, privies or otherwise howsoever from convening any congress whatsoever on the 8th of October 2009 or any other date, preparatory to the nomination, selection or election of its gubernatorial candidate for election into the office of Governor of Anambra State of Nigeria in 2010 pending the determination of the motion on notice filed herein.
According toÂ Justice B.A Nwankwo, â€œan order of interim injunction is hereby granted, restraining the Defendants/Respondents by themselves, their servants, officers, agents, privies or otherwise howsoever, from holding any state congress for the primary election of the PDP Gubernatorial candidate in Anambra State fixed for the 8th day of October being organised in furtherance of any ward or state congresses deliberation made pursuant to the recommendation of any ad-hoc committee as constituted under the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Partyâ€™s guidelines for the primary election, regarding the nomination, selection or election of its gubernatorial candidate for the 2010 governorship of Anambra State of Nigeria pending the determination of the motion on notice filed herein.
Hearing on the motion was fixed for Monday, 12th October, 2009.
Meanwhile, for failing to have the Court vacate the order restraining the party from conducting the State Congress, the party has fixed a meeting of statutory delegates to get a candidate for the election.
The move has also become imperative for the party against the backdrop that it is now at a crossroad to meet INECâ€™s deadline that all the parties fielding candidates for the election must present the names to it today.
With the arrangement put in place by the party to ratify the candidate by the stakeholders, the task has been pushed to the door step steps of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party which has President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua as the leader in collaboration with members of the National Working Committee (NWC).