INEC endorses Ogbuebego as Anambra PDP chairman, rejects Emeakayi
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday confirmed that it does not recognise Chief Ken Emeakayi as the Anambra State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), barely two weeks to the state primaries of the party which is scheduled to hold on August 24.
The commission however said by its records, Mr. Ejike Ogbuebego is the authentic chairman of PDP in Anambra State
The electoral commission made its position known in letter written to the Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Dmocratic Party( PDP) by the Office of the Secretary to INEC.
The letter, dated August 11, 2013, was signed by U.F. Usman on behalf of the Secretary.
INEC said it did not know how Emeakayi emerged as the state chairman of PDP.
By implications, INEC may reject the list of PDP candidates from Emeakayi-led State Executive Committee.
A source said: 'We are back to the usual crisis trailing conduct of primaries in Anambra State. There are two chairmen leading PDP in Anambra State.
'Going by relevant laws, which INEC is sticking to, the authentic chairman of PDP in the state is Ejike Ogbuebego.
'But the PDP at the National level has recognised Emeakayi. Unless the party puts its house in order, any aggrieved member could take advantage of the crisis to seek a court order to nullify the outcome of the PDP governorship primaries in the state.
'Technically speaking, PDP is on the edge in Anambra but INEC is being tactical.'
The INEC letter reads in part: 'The commission further considered the ruling of the Federal High Court, Awka in Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/174/2012-Ken Emeakayi vs. PDP and Ors in which the court granted an order to maintain status quo in all matters pending before the Federal High Court as they stood on the 31st day of May 2013, the date of the order.
'The commission has taken due consideration of all the cases above referred and the following:
'That the commission not being a party to the suit in the High Court of the FCT which nullified the congress at which Ejike Ogbuebego was elected is not bound by the judgment.
'That the commission did not monitor the process that brought in Ken Emeakayi as the Anambra State Chairman of PDP.
'The order of the Federal High Court which ordered a return to the stays quo and the recent order of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt which restrained the commission from recognizing or dealing with Ken Emeakayi as the chairman of the PDP in Anambra State.
' The commission has resolved that it will not withdraw its letter reference No: INEC/EPM/PDP/ 24/1/ 153 of 26th July 2013 by which the commission recognized Ejike Ogbuebego as the chairman of the PDP in Anambra State and shall be bound by the recent order of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.'
INEC gave the details of the legal intricacies trailing the constitution of State Executive Committee of PDP in Anambra State.
It added: 'Further to your letter of 31st July, 2013, that of the Acting National Secretary of the PDP, Dr. Charles Aderemi Akinyoye, of 6th August 2013 and the meeting between some members of the NEC of the PDP and the Commission on the above subject matter, the Commission caused detailed review of relevant facts of the subject matter to be made.
'The Commission found that whereas it monitored the State Congress of the PDP in Anambra State in 2010 at which Chief Emma Nweze emerged as the Anambra State Chairman of the party, it has no record of how Ken Emeakayi suddenly became the chairman of the party in Anambra state.
'In March 2012, the PDP conducted another congress in Anambra State at which Ejike Ogbuebego was elected as the State Chairman of the party. Both the PDP and the Commission continued to accord recognition to Ejike Ogbuebego as State Chairman of the party in Anambra state until the Commission received the letter of the Acting National Chairman on 31st July, 2013.
'The Commission notes with abhorrence the deliberate concealment of the judgement of the FCT High Court delivered on 5th July, 2012 in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/2631/2012 between Emma Mbamalu vs. PDP by which the court declared the Ward, Local Government and State Congresses held in March 2012 in Anambra State at which Ejike Ogbuebego emerged as State Chairman of the PDP, Anambra State as null and void and ordered the PDP to conduct other congresses in Anambra State though the Commission was not a party in the suit.
'The revelation of the existence of the judgement by the PDP only on 31st July 2013 has imposed serious constraints on both the Commission and the party.
'The Commission has considered the two ex-parte orders issued in favour of Ken Emeakayi in Suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/309/2012 between Ken Emeakayi Vs. INEC and 6 others, the certified true copy of the consent judgement of the High Court of Anambra State of 21st March 2012 on Suit No. a/171/2011 between Hon. Uche Ogbonna and 2 others Vs PDP and 4 others in which the court entered consent judgement between Uche Ogbonna and Ken Emeakayi in favour of Ken Emeakayi but which the court specifically stated that it is not binding on the PDP and its national officers.
'The Commission further considered the judgement of the FCT High Court above referred and the ex-parte order of the Federal High Court, Port Harourt made on 6 th August 2013 in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/213/2013 between Ejike Ogbuebego and 2 others Vs. PDP and INEC in which the Commission was restrained from accepting, dealing with, recognizing or doing anything with Ken Dmeakayi as the PDP Chairman in Anambra State pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice which is adjourned to 20 th August 2013.'