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Anambra 2021: Court to decide on ‘authentic’ PDP candidate Sept. 14



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By Favour Goodness

An Anambra High Court in Awka has fixed Sept. 14 for hearing on the substantive suit to determine the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.

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Justice Obiora Nwabunike said this at the hearing on Motion Exparte by Dr Ugochukwu Uba which among Orders barred Mr Valentine Ozigbo from parading himself as PDP candidate.

Nwabunike also ruled that the Motion Exparte could no longer be heard as it had abated following the inability of the legal teams to conclude their responses before seven days which elapsed today.

The Order in Motion A558m/ 2021 obtained on July 5 also asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject any name submitted to by PDP pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The defendants in the suits were INEC, PDP and Ozigbo.

The PDP in Anambra on June 26 conducted parallel primary elections which produced Uba and Ozigbo as factional standard bearers of the party in the November election.

Alex Ejesieme (SAN) Counsel to Ozigbo said he filed his responses with accompanying arguments on July 8 and July 9 and was not to blame for the Plaintiff’s counsel to respond to them.

Emmanuel Enoidem, Counsel to PDP also said he filed his responses on the same date while Ibrahim Mohammed representing INEC said he filed his on Monday.

In his argument, Beluolisa Nwofor said the defendants filed their responses on Friday and that it was only proper for him to reply to them on Monday as Courts do not function on Saturday and Saturday.

The Honourable Justice said since the lifetime of the Motion Exparte had elapsed, there was no need to continue processes around it.

Nwofor, the Plaintiff Council then prayed the court to proceed to the hearing of the substantive suit on Tuesday or Wednesday in view of the urgency of the matter.

He said it was important that the court determined the matter to enable the Anambra electorate to know who the authentic candidate of PDP was before the publication of candidates’ list by INEC on July 16.

But the defense counsels reminded the court that it had 180 days to hear and determine the matter since it was a pre-election case.

They argued that there was no need for the court to rush but rather it should allow them to properly respond to the suits on the point of law.

In his ruling, Nwabunike adjourned hearing on the matter to Sept.14.

The presiding Judge also announced the receipt of a letter from PDP to the Administrative Judge requesting that the matter be transferred from his court to elsewhere.

He said further actions on the matter would be determined by directive from the Administrative Judge.

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