Oye-led faction tells INEC: Recognise Soludo as APGA Anambra guber candidate
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chukwuma Soludo as its legitimate candidate for the Anambra state gubernatorial election.
Soludo who belongs to the Victor Oye-led faction of APGA had secured 740 votes to defeat Ezenwankwo Christopher who polled 41 votes, while ThankGod Ibe had four votes, and Okolo Chibuzor got seven votes.
But in the list published on July 16, INEC had picked Michael Umeoji over Soludo as the standard-bearer for APGA.
Festus Okoye, INEC’s commissioner for information and voter education, said a court in Jigawa had affirmed Oye’s suspension as national chairman while another court in the federal capital territory (FCT) ordered the commission to monitor the primary election of the Jude Okeke faction and comply with the result.
Umeoji won the primaries in Okeke’s faction.
However, on Monday, Chukwudi Okaa, a federal high court judge, sitting in Awka ordered the electoral umpire to recognise Soludo as the party’s candidate.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Oye said there was only one APGA, which was led by him, with Labaran Maku as national secretary.
“Our leadership was duly elected on May 31, 2019, in a well organised national convention in Awka, and attended by all the organs of the party expected to be at the convention,” he said.
“On the roll, we have 608 members of NEC but what you saw on June 25 was a contraction, they gathered men and women from the streets not up to 50 and they called it NEC meeting.
“Again, what INEC did, we were the first political party that uploaded the particulars of our governorship candidate and deputy to INEC on July 2, in accordance with the electoral act.
“According to section 313, of the electoral Act 2010 as amended, INEC is expected to have published that name within seven days of uploading of those particulars but they waited till July 15, 13 days after to concoct what they did on July 16, 2021.
“For me, the only way INEC can redeem their image is to reverse itself immediately, they should not wait for one minute.
“After all, there is a court judgment from Awka that has given them a soft landing, the judgment from Awka was very clear.
“The judgment solved all the legal puzzles you could ever think of, so what is holding INEC from implementing that.
“There was a court order from Federal High court Awka, directing INEC to maintain the status quo and publish Soludo’s name as given to it on July 2, 2021 but INEC did not obey that court order.
“We served INEC the court judgment from Awka on November 2020, it did not obey it. INEC must do the right thing and publish the names of legitimate candidates of the party.”