Two Anambra State High Courts sitting in Awka, the state capital, have ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to enlist Senator Ugochukwu Uba and Prof Chukwuma Soludo as the governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance, respectively for the November 6 poll in the state.
INEC had excluded Uba and Soludo from the list it published recently for the Anambra State governorship poll, citing court cases as the reason for doing so
But on Monday, court 5 of the High Court presided over by Justice Obiora Nwabunike in a matter brought before it by Senator Ugochukwu Uba against Valentine Ozigbo, a factional governorship candidate of PDP and INEC said Uba’s faction of the party held its primary election in line with “a subsisting live court judgment, stipulating the guidelines for the exercise.
Nwabunike said submissions by Ozigbo’s lawyers that a primary election of a political party was an internal affair of the party were right but not when there was a court judgment stipulating how the primary election should be conducted.
He said, “It’s not for nothing that court judges are called my lords. When a court makes a pronouncement, it must be obeyed no matter how foolish or ugly anybody thinks it is.
“The constitution is supreme, the court is the supremacy. A court can even annul a section of the constitution. That’s how powerful the court is.
“So, it’s wrong for the PDP to go ahead to conduct the primary election of the party at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre that produced Valentine Ozigbo, with what it called super delegates against a live judgment of a court without overturning the judgment.
“That action cannot be vitiated or mitigated by the argument adduced by defence counsel that party primaries are internal affairs of political parties”
The court ordered Ozigbo, PDP to pay N10m to Uba as cost of litigation.
Similarly, a high court presided over by Justice Chukwudi Okaa had ordered INEC to enlist Soludo as the candidate of APGA and drop Chukwudi Umeoji earlier published by the commission.
Justice Okaa said Dr Victor Oye as the authentic National Chairman of APGA had the right to conduct primary election of the party and produce/sponsor a candidate of the party in the poll and not the Jude Okeke faction of the party.