Anambra Central: Going ahead with senatorial re-run poll will be disastrous – PDP’s Obiora Okonkwo tells INEC

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A candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Obiora Okonkwo, has written the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, asking the commission to halt the planned re-run elections slated to hold on Saturday.

Mr. Okonkwo urged the commission to obey a High Court judgement directing he be issued a Certificate of Return as the senator-elect for the seat.

The commission is faced with two conflicting court judgement on the Anambra seat that has been vacant since the Court of Appeal sacked Uche Ekwuenife of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in December 2015.

If INEC goes ahead with the election, PDP and its candidates would not be eligible for the poll as the Appeal Court in Enugu had ruled that Mrs. Ekwunife and her party, PDP, not take part in the re-run.

Following a judgement by the Court of Appeal in November 2017, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had fixed January 13 for the conduct of the re-run election to fill the vacant seat.

Three weeks later, another judgement emerged from the Federal High Court which ordered INEC to issue Certificate of Return to Mr. Okonkwo of the PDP as the elected representative for Anambra Central Senatorial District.

INEC has not publicly said if it would abide by the High Court judgement. But the commission on Thursday commenced training of National Youth Service Corps members for the poll, indicating it would go ahead with the election.

In a letter by his lawyers, Mr. Okonkwo warned INEC against going ahead of with the poll.

The letter by Sebastian Hon and Festus Keyamo warned INEC that conducting the election will be “disastrous” for the commission.

He maintained that the commission has no justifiable reason to go ahead with the election since he has filed a suit against INEC and other political parties to stop the controversial re-run election.

“Is there any justifiable reason again, Hon. Chairman, to insist on the commission going on with this re-run? We strongly think not; and we hereby WARN IN UNMISTAKEN TERMS that going on with the re-run election will be legally and even morally disastrous for the commission and your good person,” the letter said.

“We do hope you and your commissioners and all decision-makers of the commission will appreciate the implication of going on with the planned re-run in spite of the weighty legal and factual issues raised in this letter.”

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