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INEC REMOVES CHIME'S NAME FROM LIST

By NBF News
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Barely 12 hours after the name of Governor Sullivan Chime was published as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the April polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of yesterday removed his name from its list in Enugu State.

INEC had on Monday published the name of Chime as the PDP governorship candidate in Enugu alongside Mr Okey Ezea, Labour Party; Dan Shere, People for Democratic Change (PDC); Pastor Ikechukwu Omenkeukwu ((ACN); Ichie Paul Okafor, 9ANPP); Chief Jonathan Nweke, (HDP); Charles Ibe (CDC); Chinonyelum Odumejemba, (NCP); and Emmanuel Ugwu, (CPC).

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Enugu State, Dr. Josiah Uwazuruonye, who confirmed the development, said he acted in compliance with a directive from his legal unit in Abuja.

According to him, the withdrawal followed series of litigations that had trailed the conduct of the PDP primaries in the state.

His words: 'The withdrawal was in accordance with the directive from the INEC's National Commissioner in charge of Legal Services, Mr. Philip Umeadi, that the name be withdrawn without further delay. The National Commissioner in-charge of legal services, Mr. Philip Umeadi advised that the list be withdrawn because it was published in error. This is because of the court injunctions surrounding most party primaries for which the PDP is not devoid of.'

The REC disclosed that the commission was yet to substitute Chime's name, saying that they are awaiting further directives.

Fresh trouble had started in Enugu chapter of the PDP as few days to the publication of the names of gubernatorial candidates, a chieftain of the party, Chief Anayo Onwuegbu, obtained an injunction from the Federal High Court, Abuja, restraining the party and INEC from accepting the candidature of Chime and others produced by the governor's group, stressing that he (Onwuegbu) was the rightful candidate produced by the authentic executive of the party, which emerged from the state congresses conducted in December last year by the faction of the former national chairman of the PDP, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo.

Reacting, Governor Chime, through his campaign organisation said he had not been able to confirm the report.

Chime, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Chuks Ugwoke, who doubles as the Director, Media, Sullivan Campaign Organisation said:

'We have heard such unconfirmed report but if it is true, then it is perhaps in strict compliance with due process and full observance of the rule of law. It does not vitiate the irreducible fact that Governor Sullivan Chime was duly nominated by the PDP and had since filled and returned his nomination form to INEC.

'We are quite certain that in the fullness of time, other legal issues will be sorted out and we shall all be witness to the final verdict and the corresponding commencement of other electoral activities.'

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