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Soludo yet to report father’s kidnap – Police

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By Ise-Oluwa Ige & Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA — ANAMBRA State Police Command said, yesterday, that Professor Chukwuma Soludo, whose 78-year-old father was kidnapped on Tuesday, was yet to make a formal statement to the police.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Philemon Leha, observed that although the kidnap of Pa Simeon Soludo, retired staff of the Nigerian Cement Company, Nkalagu, took place over 48 hours ago, the family was yet to make a report.

He, however, denied summoning the former Governor of the Central Bank for questioning, adding that what the Command wants is for him to make a formal report of the kidnap.

“It is natural for him (Prof. Soludo) to come forward to make a statement. If his father was kidnapped, we expect him to tell us formally,” the commissioner said.

Leha also confirmed that a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Chris Uba, invited for questioning was yet to honour the invitation.

He said a formal invitation has been extended to Uba but a definite time was not given to him to keep the appointment with the police.

According to him, the command was aware that the PDP chief was not residing in Anambra State, adding that he expects Uba to come to Awka and honour the Police invitation.

Bid to stop Soludo: Court fixes judgment for Nov 30

Meanwhile a  Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed November 30, for judgment in a suit by two members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking to stop the party from submitting the name of Prof Soludo to INEC as its gubernatorial flag-bearer for the Anambra governorship election scheduled to hold early next year.

The trial high court judge, Justice Adamu Bello, fixed judgment in the matter yesterday moments after the two plaintiffs in the case raised an alarm before the court to the effect that their party was threatening to deal with them for approaching the court for resolution of an alleged intra-party dispute.

The plaintiffs, Chuma Kingsley Nwofor and Ifeoma Love Ebe, were PDP aspirants in Anambra State.
They wanted the court to hold the PDP responsible should any unfortunate thing happen to them.

But the court yesterday advised them to lodge their complaints with the police which have the statutory powers to handle such matters.

The duo of Nwofor and Ebe were present in court yesterday when counsel to parties in the case were adopting their briefs of arguments in the case.

They however dithered yesterday when it was suggested to them that Dr Andy Uba was the one sponsoring the suit.

Nwofor specifically said yesterday that the allegation of Uba sponsoring them was not the issue but that the real issue was whether or not the ruling party was doing things right.

The background of the case is that the plaintiffs had approached the Abuja Federal high court vide a writ of summons begging it to stop PDP from submitting the name of Prof Soludo as its flag-bearer for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra state.

Their grounds of seeking for the court order were that their political party breached the provisions of its own constitution, the Electoral Act 2006 and that of the 1999 constitution which stipulated how gubernatorial candidates of the party should emerge.

They said they were not contesting with the party its propriety to decide on who should be its flag-bearer but that the rules must be followed.

They urged the court to take cognisance of the fact that the matter had earlier been brought to the court by two other aggrieved members of the party and that the court issued an order stopping the party from going ahead with its scheduled primary election.

They said the party having selected Soludo through a means allegedly unknown to the rules as prescribed by the party’s constitution, the court had the jurisdiction to entertain their case.

Although INEC said it filed no position paper on the matter and that it would abide by whatever the court pronounces, both Soludo and the ruling PDP yesterday asked the court to either dismiss or strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction.

Soludo hired the Chambers of Chief P I N Ikwueto (SAN) to handle his case in court while Chief Olusola Oke represented PDP in court yesterday.

According to Ikwueto (SAN), he urged the court to decline jurisdiction for sundry reasons including that the matter brought to court was an intra-party dispute and therefore not justiciable; that the action was grossly incompetent and that the suit constituted a gross abuse of office.

But outside the courtroom yesterday, Nwofor spoke with newsmen on the threat issued against them by the PDP and the allegation that they were being sponsored by Uba.

His words: “We have reported the matter touching on issue of threat by the PDP to the court and the court has taken cognisance of the threat by the party that they will wield the big stick.

“And, so, what we are really doing is to exhaust every known legal means to bring about change and internal democracy in our party.

“It is our desire that our party will begin to live by the intendment of its own constitution and that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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