FORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Professor Charles Soludo has been reinstated as the All Progressives Grand Alliance (Apga) gubernatorial candidate in Anambra State after securing a favourable ruling in an Awka high court today.
Anambrans go to the polls on November 6 to elect a new governor and with Apga being the ruling party in the state, Professor Soludo had become the automatic frontrunner. However, there was a twist last week after the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) omitted his name from the list of cleared candidates.
On July 16, Inec released its list of cleared candidates and the names of Professor Soludo and that of his running mate Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim were missing. Professor Soludo, 60, an economics academic, was the CBN chairman between 2004 and 2009, during which time he presided over the consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry.
His disqualification had caused panic in several circles but Professor Soludo went to court and today secured a favourable court ruling. Justice CC Okaa reinstated Professor Soludo as the Apga candidate and ordered Inec to publish his name immediately.
In addition the court also ordered Inec to remove the already-published name of Chukwuma Umeoji, ordering him to stop parading himself as the Apga candidate. Justice Okaa reaffirmed Victor Ike Oye as the indisputable Apga national chairman and ordered Edozie Njoku and Jude Okeke to stop parading themselves as national chairmen of the party.
In a second ruling, Justice Obiora Nwabunike, who adjudicated on the case involving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary, reinstated Andy Uba as the party’s candidate. Justice Nwabunike ruled: “With the evidence before me and having heard from parties involved in the matter, I rule that Ugochukwu Uba is the duly elected candidate of PDP.
“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, it must be obeyed. So, it was wrong for the PDP to go ahead to conduct the primary election at the Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre that produced Valentine Ozigbo, with what they called super delegates against a live judgment of a court, without overturning the judgement.
“That action cannot be vitiated or mitigated by the argument adduced by defence counsel that party primaries are internal affairs of political parties. I order that Ugochukwu Uba’s name should be enlisted by the Inec without further delay and the defendants should pay a cost of N10m to the applicant.”