Supreme Court Stops PDP Campaign Flag-off In Anambra
Nigeria's Supreme Court on Thursday in Abuja barred the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from going ahead with its flag off campaign activities for Mr. Tony Nwoye, the party's candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state, an event scheduled to hold on Saturday.
The apex court also warned the party and its national officials not to do anything between now and Monday, 4 November, that will be prejudicial to the scheduled hearing of an appeal brought before it by Mr. Nicholas Ukachukwu who is challenging his removal as the party's candidate for the election by a Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo is billed to lead the national leadership of the PDP to the flag off campaign in the state ahead of the governorship election which is to take place on Saturday, 16 November.
The court's directives followed an undertaking it extracted from Mr. Garba Pwul and Mr. Paul Erokoro, both senior advocates of Nigeria who represented Mr. Tony Nwoye, the Peoples Democratic Party and it's National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur respectively.
The apex court also barred Senator Andy Uba who is also jostling for the party's ticket for that election, from joining in the appeal which is expected to decide who, between Nwoye and Ukachukwu, should fly the party's flag at the election.
In a ruling delivered at about 6p.m, the court rejected Andy Uba's application to be joined in the appeal filed by Ukachukwu who is battling to retain the favourable judgment he obtained at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which earlier sacked Nwoye on the grounds on not paying his tax as at when due
That decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal which restored the victory secured by Tony Nwoye at the primary election conducted by a faction of the crisis ridden party in Anambra state. The reversal of the Federal High Court decision by the Court of Appeal led to the institution of the appeal at the apex court.
Ukachukwu's lawyer, Mr. Joseph Dawodu, a senior advocate of Nigeria, pleaded with the court to extract a commitment from the PDP and INEC lawyers, that their clients will not do anything to prejudice their case and specifically pointed out that the party has fixed Saturday, 2nd November, for the flag off of campaigns for Nwoye, an event which, he claims would affect the hearing of their appeal fixed for Monday 4th November.
Counsel to the PDP, Nwoye and INEC respectively gave an undertaken that none of their clients would do anything to tamper with the subject matter so as not to violate the court's order.