By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has reported issued a note of warning to the Labour Party senatorial candidate for Anambra Central, Chief Victor Umeh, to stop campaigning and parading himself as a candidate in the 2023 general election.
This warning was contained in a press release credited to Mr. Okelo Madukaife, the Publicity Secretary of APC in the state.
According to the release, the warning is as a result of the recent court judgement that nullified Umeh’s candidacy
Recall that a High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State capital, on Friday, disqualified Chief Umeh from contesting the February 25 senatorial election.
The court, presided over by Justice H. A. Nganjiwa, declared that Umeh violated the provisions of the Electoral Act by standing for elections in same senatorial zone under two different political parties. It also ruled that Umeh’s name was still in the membership register of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) as at the time he emerged the Labour Party’s senatorial flag bearer for the zone on Sept 30, 2022.
The court further revealed that there was no evidence that the resignation letter purportedly submitted by Chief Umeh to APGA was actually received by the party leadership. It therefore nullified Umeh’s candidacy and faulted the publication of Umeh’s name as LP senatorial candidate for Anambra Central by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
To cap up its ruling, the court also issued an injunction restraining Umeh from parading himself as a senatorial candidate.
In the press release, the Anambra APC warned Umeh to stop violating the judgement of the federal high court Awka, which sacked him as the candidate of the Labour party for the zone.
The party said it will not fold its arms and watch Umeh violate the judgement of the court which barred him from campaigning or parading himself as the candidate of the LP in the February 25 general elections.
It also described Umeh’s continued campaign despite the judgement as a disobedience to the court, while also calling on security agents to call Umeh to order.
The release read in part, “We are shocked that in this day and age, with all enlightenment that has gone into elections and the rule of law, aspiring lawmakers can afford to break the law by disobeying a subsisting judgment.
“Chief Victor Umeh, who purported to be a candidate of Labour Party (LP) for February 25,2023 Senatorial Election in Anambra Central Senatorial District, until the Federal High Court Awka quashed his claim, has been visiting communities in the Constituency deceiving them and deceiving himself that he is contesting the election.
“Meanwhile, in its judgement, the court found it as a fact that before the law, Chief Umeh is a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and not a member of y Labour Party (LP), who cannot sponsor him.
“The court therefore, in the suit instituted by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delist Umeh and LP, further ordering Umeh not to parade himself as a candidate.
“It is therefore difficult to understand why Victor Umeh is still moving from town to town, deceitfully claiming to be a candidate.”
APC further argued, since Umeh is yet to secure a stay of execution order, he should seize to campaign henceforth. The party therefore, called on both INEC and security agencies to call Umeh to order.
“Being interested in law and order, we would be less concerned if Umeh duly secures a stay on the judgement order to enable a lawful campaign, at least to participate.
“We therefore appeal to INEC and security agencies to call Chief Victor Umeh to order, as he will take full responsibility for any uncanny development in the fragile peace of Anambra State