APGA, PDP bicker over court verdict

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By CHUKS COLLINS

THE Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra State on Saturday described a Federal High Court judgment, which declared Chief Obiora Okonkwo winner of the Anambra Central Senatorial District seat as edifying.

The party’s State Chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu stated this at a press briefing at the party’s state secretariat, Awka. He called on all in the district to accept the judgment in good faith.

He saw the verdict as a sign of good things that would come to party in Anambra State

The Abuja court had on December 13 ordered that Okonkwo be sworn in as senator to replace Uche Ekwunife, formerly candidate of the PDP in race who sacked by the Court of Appeal for improper nomination.

Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja High Court ruled that Okonkwo was the validly nominated candidate of the party in the 2015 general election and should be sworn in as the senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial district immediately.

Describing the judgment as sound, Nwobu congratulated Okonkwo on the victory, saying it was a collective victory for the PDP and Anambra Central District, which had been without a representative in the senate for about two years now.

He urged the new senator to be magnanimous in victory, while expressing confidence that he would be able to give quality representation to the district

Hear him, “The State Working Committee of the PDP and the entire members of the party in Anambra rejoice with our great son, Senator Obiora Okonkwo on the court’s verdict proclaiming him the rightful winner of the Senate for Anambra Central Senatorial zone.’’

But in a swift reaction, the All Progressives Grand Alliance dismissed the court’s judgment as “inconsequential and dead on arrival”.

The National Publicity Secretary of APGA, Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, in a statement in Awka said the party was unfazed with the development, noting that the judgment of a High Court could not upturn that of a Court of Appeal which is superior court of record.

He said APGA had prepared for the January 13, 2018 senatorial re-run poll as ordered by the Court of Appeal, adding that the judgment of a High Court declaring PDP winner of the seat was null and void.

Obi-Okoye, a lawyer said: “You recall that prior to now, the court of Appeal had ordered INEC to conduct a repeat election within 90 days, whereupon INEC fixed for January 13, 2018.

“In that judgment, the Court of Appeal disqualified PDP from participating in the re-run election, the reason being that as at the time of the initial election, the PDP did not nominate a valid candidate.

“It is surprising that the High Court gave a judgment in favour of Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP.

“The questions are: can the High Court substitute Obiora Okonkwo for Uche Ekwunife in the face of the decision of the Court of Appeal and can the decision of the High Court upturn and overrule the subsisting judgment of Court of Appeal.

“The only decision that can upturn that decision of the Court of Appeal is a decision of the Supreme Court.

“To that extent, the judgment is non sequitor, Obiora Okonkwo cannot be sworn in as a Senator of Anambra Central in the face of the judgment of the Court of Appeal which is still subsisting.”

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