ANAMBRA: PDP LIST, A THREAT TO APRIL POLLS - UKACHUKWU
One of the prime contenders in the Anambra South Senatorial seat in next month's election, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, has rejected the list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying it did not originate from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He warned that INEC's insistence on the said list despite court orders and PDP position on issue would definitely affect the election negatively. In the said publication, former aide to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Andy Uba, was said to have been cleared by the INEC in place of Ukachukwu.
But Ukachukwu has declared that not withstanding the final list released by INEC on Tuesday, clearing chief Uba and 35 others for the race, he would only abide by the party's list.
According to Ukachukwu, any list published contrary to the ones originating from the PDP secretariat amounted to illegality and vowed to deploy all legal means possible to pursue justice until victory was attained.
While speaking to Daily Sun, Ukachukwu lamented that despite court rulings and even letters from the PDP secretariat, reminding INEC about the party's legal right to submit list of candidates, INEC had continued to flout this directives. He said: 'PDP has communnicated to INEC without mincing words that Prince Ukachukwu, along other candidates emerging from the duly constituted Waku Panel by the PDP NEC, is the candidate for Anambra South Senatorial District.
'INEC in a letter to PDP national chairman dated February 10, 2011, acknowledged binding court orders on them in paragraph A and B of the said letter but, however, said in paragraph C that the order, motion no A/42M/2011 was the only obstacle restraining them from complying with the list submitted by PDP to INEC. 'However, the order referred to by INEC was struck out on grounds of incompetence or lack of jurisdiction arising from the plaintiffs' lack of locus standi on February 28, 2011 by Justice D.O.C Amaechina of Anambra State High Court.'
Ukachukwu further said: 'INEC as presently constituted cannot be a political party or constitute itself into a law court. Therefore, it cannot sponsor candidate but is duty bound to accept PDP's sponsored candidates. So, I want to emphasize that a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction remains valid and binding unless and until is set aside by the appeal court or by the lower court itself where it acted without jurisdiction.
'I want to state categorically that I remain the validly nominated and sponsored PDP candidate for Anambra South Senatorial District for the April 2, 2011 general election.' Ukachukwu wondered why a nation that boasted of respect for rule of law had continued to disobey court orders by imposing unpopular candidates on the good people of the state. He urged Jega to observe the rules of the game as free and fair elections started with the primary and if he failed to get it right from the foundation, then the entire structure could collapse.
'I think Jega should look into this and avoid starting on a wrong foot that could leave a dismal dent on his career.'