INEC: Anambra central senatorial re-run to hold Jan 13

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, assured that the Anambra Central senatorial re-run election scheduled for January 13, 2018 will hold.

The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, who gave the assurance in a telephone interview, said the legal debacle hindering the election from holding had been resolved.

Orji said the legal department had studied the judgements and asked them to go ahead with the election as ordered by the Court of Appeal as against the Justice John Tsoho-led Federal High Court judgement.

Orji added that the commission had already commenced training of its ad hoc personnel.

“Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High Court judgement. So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13.

“We are going on with the election as scheduled. We have started training ad hoc personnel ahead of the poll,” the REC also said.

The Anambra Central Senatorial District had been without a senator since 2015 when the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, sacked the occupant of the position, Mrs Uche Ekwunife.

The court asked INEC to conduct a re-run in the district within 90 days, while disqualifying Ekwunife and her political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from participating in the re-run.

The PDP challenged its exclusion in the re-run at the Federal High Court, Abuja which granted judgement in its favour.

On the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, and his party, it contended that the PDP would not field a candidate in the re-run since it was on its instance that the election was nullified on December 7, 2015.

On Monday, November 20, 2017, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja delivered a judgment in favour of Umeh in which it ordered INEC to conduct the re-run election within 90 days of the judgment and excluding PDP from contesting in it.

Following this, INEC fixed the re-run for January 13, 2018.

But on December 13, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja declared Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District in a judgement delivered by Justice Tsoho.

Tsoho asked INEC to issue certificate of return to Okonkwo and ordered the Senate president to swear in the PDP candidate immediately as the senator for Anambra Central Senatorial District.