By Ajibola Abayomi,
December 19, 2017
The United Peoples Party (UPP) has thrown its weight behind the declaration of Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as the authentic Senator for Anambra Central by the Court.
This was contained in a release signed by the UPP National Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie and made available to TheLead Online on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the UPP National Chairman stated thus: “We are writing you this letter with every sense of responsibility and patriotism as an active participant in Nigerian democratic process.
“We are also writing you this letter as a political party that fielded a prominent and highly qualified candidate, Chief Flint Obiekwe for the election in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone.
“We intend to deal with only the essentials of the matter since the details are well known to all parties in it. It is a common knowledge that nomination of the PDP candidate for the said election was controversial and highly disputed in which the nomination and the ultimate election of Iyom Uche Ekwunife of the PDP then was challenged by Dr. Obiora Okonkwo and Chief Annie Okonkwo, all of the PDP.
While this matter was going on in Court as pre-election matter, PDP won the election and Iyom Uche Ekwunife was given the Certificate of Return by INEC and was subsequently sworn-in to represent the Senatorial Zone in the Senate.
Curiously, Chief Victor Umeh, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) cashed-in on the various documents filed by the claimants to the PDP victory in Court and used same to challenge the nomination of Senator Uche Ekwunife in the Election Petition Tribunal.”
Okorie stated further that: “We are not aware that the disqualification of Senator Uche Ekwunife nullified a Suit that dated back to December 2014. The Suit by Dr. Obiora Okonkwo is not in any way the same as the legal summersault and rigmarole that emanated from an Election Petition Tribunal and is still pending at the Supreme Court.
“To the best of the knowledge of any discerning Nigerian, the Judgment that declared Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as the authentic beneficiary of the undisputed PDP victory in the March 28, 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial Election has indeed rendered the pending Suits in the matter mere academic exercise, except the judgment of the Federal High Court is successfully challenged by any party that has locus standi in the Suit.
“It is the position of UPP that INEC should proceed without further delay and in the interest of the rule of law and Nigerian democracy to comply with the clear order of Court directing the Commission to issue the Certificate of Return to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo.
“If the Commission decides for the unaltruistic or illogical reasons to put at stake tax payers money in conducting a rerun election that has already been resolved by a Court of competent jurisdiction, our great party and our candidate shall boycott the election in protest, in addition to the fact that we do not intend to waste our resources in participating in a campaign that will turn out to be wasteful, unlawful and deceitful.
“We expect that all well-meaning political parties that have candidates in the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone election should adopt the UPP position. We further expect that the Senate in particular, should weigh-in on this matter.”