The All Nigeria Peoples Party in Imo said that it would drag its 2007 governorship candidate, Chief Ziggy Azike, to court over unpaid N2.6m debt.

Imo State Chairman of the party, Dr. Vitalis Ajumbe, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Owerri on Thursday that Azike was indebted to the party to the tune of N2 million as nomination fees.

He said while N250,000 was for screening, N350,000 was to cover a letter of intent for the 2007 governorship election.

Ajumbe said that the former governorship candidate was expected to pay the fees before accepting the ticket, but promised to pay within two weeks of his nomination.

He said Azike had failed to settle the statutory fees up to date, even when the party's state Secretary, Mr. Ben Anuebunwa, had written to him on the matter.

The chairman said that the party would also claim 10 per cent interest in filing the suit until the delivery of judgment was delivered as well as 10 per cent until liquidation of the judgment debt.

Ajumbe said that Azike pledged N5m and 27 buses for the ANPP branches in the 27 local government areas before the election, which were yet to be redeemed.

Azike was expelled from the party this year after several warnings.

In reaction, Azike, a Lagos-based lawyer, described it as 'politics at its dirtiest. I do not owe ANPP.'

He said, 'Indeed, this frivolous act is at the instance of persons terrified by my governorship bid.

'The agent they are using is a worthless scammer. My political opponents are trying to dent my clean reputation, but they cannot succeed.'