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Anambra guber: Panel throws out Soludo, Obaze, others’ appeal

By Joe Nwankwo Assistant Editor, Abuja
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The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Governorship Appeal Panel on Saturday upheld the disqualification of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo; immediate past Secretary to the Anambra State Government, Oseloka Obaze; and four others who were disqualified by the Screening Panel on Friday.

The six persons who were disqualified by the party's Governorship Screening Committee had appeared before the APGA governorship Screening Appeal Panel to contest their disqualification by the panel.

The panel, chaired by Chief Tony Ojielo, after entertaining their appeals, told reporters that their appeals were lacking in merit and that the committee had no other option than to affirm their disqualification.

According to Ojielo “we have listened to their appeals but their appeals lacked merit.”

The appeal panel has Ojielo as Chairman, Bala Bako as Secretary, and Dr. Mic Adams, High Chief Ogometu Ukpenetus and Hajia Hadiza Aliyu Gogori as members.

The APGA Screening Committee had on Friday disqualified Soludo and five other governorship aspirants on the party's platform for the November 16, 2013 governorship elections in Anambra State.

According to a statement signed by the Chairman of the Gubernatorial Screening panel, Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi; Secretary, Ifeanyi Mbaeri; and a member, Chief Onwuka Ukwa, at the conclusion of the panel's sitting Saturday, the six aspirant's failed to scale through the test.

The six aspirants that failed the screening include: Emmanuel Nweke, Ogbuefi Tony Nnaechetta, Chinedu Francis Idigo, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, Obaze and Soludo.

The panel however said that seven aspirants were successful. The successful aspirants are: Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Nwogbo, Paul Odenigbo, Uche Lillian Ekwunife, Chief Willie Obiano, John Nwosu, John Okechukwu Emeka and Nwachi Patrick Obianwu.

Sources at the panel sitting said some of the reasons given for not clearing the aspirants ranged from non-presentation of voters card, lack of evidence of financial strength to execute the campaign, incomplete certificate and their inability to submit tax clearance.

One of the affected aspirants, Idigo, while reacting to his non-clearance, said he was surprised at the reason given for dropping him, and that he would make another presentation to the appeal panel.

He said they were informed that evidence of financial status was going to be part of the screening requirements.

“The outcome of the screening came as a surprise to me but I am going to prepare my appeal immediately and submit to the Appeal Panel,” he said.