ByÂ Vincent Ujumadu
AWKAâ€”The Inde pendent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday explained why it stopped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2010 governorship election in Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Senator Emma Anosike from taking part in a stakeholdersâ€™ forum in Awka, as part of preparations for the election.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chief Rowland Uwa, in a statement in Awka,Â said though the commission received another court order from an Anambra State High Court sitting in Aguata, restraining INEC from setting aside the decision of PDP to nominate Soludo, it chose to obey the order of the Abuja High Court until there was a higher court decision on the matter.
The statement said, â€œINEC has observed with utmost concern, the various protracted litigations affecting the PDP and the contentious issues relating to its internal democracy and governorship candidate for the forthcoming 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election.
The Abuja High Court, in a suit between Valentine Ozigbo and another vs PDP and others, made an order on October 23, 2009 restraining Professor Soludo and SenatorÂ Anosike from parading themselves as the candidates of PDP. The order also restrained INEC from further recognising or having anything to do with Professor Soludo.
â€œIn a different twist, the Commission received another order of interim injunction from the Anambra State High Court, sitting in Ekwulobia, Aguata, made on October 26, 2009 as per Justice B. A.Nwankwo, restraining INEC from setting aside the decision of PDPâ€™s confirmation of Professor Soludo and Senator Anosike or removing their names as candidates of PDP for the 2010 governorship election in Anambra State until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in the suit.
â€œThe Commission wishes to state that in view of this ugly trend and taking into cognizance the orders of court of cognate jurisdiction, the first in time shall be obeyed until there is any appellate courtâ€™s decision to the contrary, he added.