Court Disqualified Ekwunife From Contesting Anambra Central Rerun Polls, Says APGA Candidate, Umeh
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the March 28 National Assembly election in Anambra Central, Chief Victor Umeh, has said the defection of Senator Uche Ekwunife, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not changed the fact that she is disqualified from contesting in the forthcoming rerun election.
Senator Ekwunife was representing Anambra Central on the platform of PDP until her election was nullified by the Court of Appeal in Enugu on December 6, 2015.
But the sacked senator last Friday, announced her defection from the PDP, saying the party had fallen apart and was behind the court decision that annulled her victory at the polls.
However, speaking in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital at the weekend, Umeh, who is a former national chairman of APGA, insisted that the Court of Appeal judgment already disqualified Ekwunife from being part of the rerun, saying her defection with the intention of flying the APC’s flag was done in ignorance.
The court ordered INEC to conduct a rerun within 90 days from Day of Judgment.
“I think she is exhibiting crass ignorance of the laws”, the APGA senatorial candidate said. “When she is disqualified by the Court of Appeal, there is no way she would be part of the election any longer.
“The law is that the dramatic personae in the previous election will contest the rerun. The Supreme Court, in 2009, in a judgment delivered by Justice Ogbuagu made it clear that a candidate cannot be changed or withdrawn in a rerun because the period of nomination had elapsed and cannot be resurrected under any guise.
“So joining the APC in pursuant of a ticket that is not available, is a decision made in ignorance”, Umeh said.