Anambra 2021Politics

Why Umeoji should steer clear of APGA governorship contest, by Obiokoye

Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Political Matters, Chief Ifeatu Obiokoye, has called on Chukwuma Umeoji, the de-facto flag-bearer of the All Progressives Grand (APGA) in the November 6 Anambra governorship election, and his “co-travellers” to stop “distracting the party”, arguing that former CBN gGovernor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo remains the authentic APGA candidate for the election.

Umeoji was earlier listed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the Anambra governorship election, following a Jigawa State court order for him to be recognised as the APGA candidate for the governorship election.”

According to Obiokoye, the House of Representatives member should stop laying claim to the APGA governorship ticket because, according to him, the lawmaker was not the candidate rightfully nominated by the party for governorship contest come this November 6 but Prof. Soludo.

“In 2019, after our last convention, the name of Victor Oye and other national officers were deposited with INEC. INEC has been dealing with Oye as national chairman,” Obiokoye disclosed.

“In October, 2019, a High Court in Anambra confirmed and ratified the convention that produced the Victor Oye executive. It was a judgment of the High Court of Anambra State. That judgment was neither appealed nor set aside by any court. The second was a ruling of a Federal High Court last week, which ordered INEC to maintain status quo and publish the name of Soludo as authentic candidate of APGA for the November 6 governorship election. That judgment has been made available to INEC.

“Now, going back to the APGA primary election, a total of nine aspirants indicated their interest to run the governorship race under the party, under the leadership of Victor Oye. Each of them got expression of interest and nomination forms from the Victor Oye-led executive, in the sum of N22 million each. A screening committee was set up by the Victor Oye led executive. Five were disqualified, including Chukwuma Umorji; while 4 were cleared to run for the primary election; including Soludo Charles, Damian Okolo, Okwidili Ezenwankwo, and another.

“After they were screened out, Umeoji appealed to the same Victor Oye executive, and his appeal failed. Three days later, we heard an announcement on the African Independent Television (AIT) by a group led by one Jude Okeke, claiming that they have removed Victor Oye as APGA national chairman; and that Jude Okeke was then the acting national chairman. That was how the crisis started.

“As it stands, APGA has instituted an appeal against the Jigawa judgment. Our grounds of appeal are that the Jigawa court has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter brought before it; because, INEC, as a federal agency, could not have been sued at a state High Court. Secondly is that judgment in that suit was obtained by fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation of facts because the authentic APGA was not the APGA that was sued or represented in that case. So, that is to say that whatever case that was made there was a case made by collusion.”

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