By Vincent Ujumadu
AN Anambra High Court sitting in Awka Monday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to list the name of Senator Ugochukwu Uba as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the November 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election.
The court presided over by Justice Obiora Nwabunike also awarded N10 million damages against the defendants namely, the PDP and Mr. Val Ozigbo, the other candidate of the party produced at the primary supervised by the leadership of PDP.
According to the judge, the primary that produced Uba was the authentic one because there was a court ruling by Justice Adeniyi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, which had not been vacated.
“An order of court, whether it is right or wrong, must be obeyed until it is vacated. The peculiarity of this case is that there was an existing court order that is still alive” he said.
He said the plaintiff, Uba, relied on the judgment of the FCT High Court to conduct the PDP primary that took place at Paul University, Awka on the 26th of June, explaining that since the PDP did not like the judgment of the FCT High Court, it should have endeavoured to vacate it before deciding to use super delegates during the primary that produced Ozigbo.
He added: ‘Super delegates are officials of PDP. It is their right to serve as delegates, but the issue was that there was a court judgment. Having conducted the primary, this court notes that it was not done according to the law, which might be why PDP appealed against it. The court order, which produced Senator Uba is still existing.”
Justice Nwabunike also dismissed the issue of lack of jurisdiction prayed for by the defendants, stating that jurisdiction, which he described as the livewire of court, was invested in his court by the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Justice Uba had approached the court to declare that the primary held at Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, which produced Val Ozigbo was in disobedience to the rule of the court and prayed court to declare him as the duly nominated candidate of PDP for the November 6, 2021 government election in Anambra State.
Also, another court presided over by Justice C.C. Okaa directed INEC to publish the name of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
In the judgment, Justice Okaa ordered INEC to remove the name of Hon Chukwuma Umeoji from its list and ordered him to stop parading himself as the candidate of APGA for the November election.
The court also reaffirmed that Chief Victor Oye is the indisputable national chairman of APGA and directed that Chief Edozie Njoku and Mr. Jude Okeke should stop parading themselves as chairmen.
There was heavy security around the Alex Ekwueme Square where the courts are located, with heavily armed policemen and armoured vehicles stationed in the area and only lawyers involved in the cases were allowed to enter the court premises.