The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to go ahead with its plans to conduct the court ordered Anambra Central senatorial district election re-run scheduled for January 13, 2018.
The Court of Appeal had in its judgment on November 17, 2017, ordered INEC to conduct a re-run election for the Anambra Central senatorial district, within 90 days, after another nullified the election of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Ekwunife, leading to the fixing of the election for January 13, 2018 by the commission.
But in another ruling on December 13, a Federal High Court in Abuja declared Dr. Obiora Okonkwo as the rightful candidate of the PDP in the election, following pre-election matter that was brought before the court by Okonkwo, after the PDP primary in 2014.
INEC had said it would apply for the Certified True Copy of the High Court judgment and that it would study it before coming out with a position on the election.
However, CNPP said despite judgment of the Federal High Court, the commission should obey the ruling of the Appeal Court which is considered superior under the circumstance.
Addressing a press conference wednesday, CNPP’s Secretary General, Willy Ezeugwu, insisted that INEC must go ahead with the planned January 13, 2018 election re-run as ordered by the Appeal Court. He said about 13 political parties have declared their readiness to take part in the January 13 rerun election.
“In the light of the decision, the CNPP sees the recent judgment of a High Court in Abuja, obtained by Dr. Obiorah Okonkwo as an attempt to flex muscles with the Court of Appeal. This is an unconstitutional anomaly, capable of truncating our democracy, if not nipped in the bud. The hierarchy of courts in Nigeria, established under Section 6 (6) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) is clear and unambiguous,” he said.
The CNPP scribe said INEC should bear in mind that there are about 13 political parties preparing to participate in the court ordered fresh election and as such must not allow anything to scuttle it.
“We therefore urge INEC to in strong terms ensure that enemies of our democracy do not prevail in their nefarious plots to abort the conduct of the election and permanently deny the Anambra Central senatorial district a representation in the 8th Senate,” Ezeugwu stated.