A high court in Anambra has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Ugochukwu Uba as the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for the governorship election in the state.
The presiding judge, Obiora Nwabunike, gave the order in his judgment on the matter instituted by Mr Uba, against INEC, PDP, and Valentine Ozigbo, as defendants.
Mr Nwabunike also awarded N10 million damages in favour of the plaintiff as cost of litigation.
Mr Uba had approached the court (in suit No. A/230/2021) to determine if the primary conducted by the PDP national executive at the Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre on June 26 was according to the law.
He also sought the court’s determination on whether a high court order in Abuja on a suit by one Samuel Anyakorah against PDP, bordering on the validity of the process that produced the party’s factional chairman (in Anambra), Ndubuisi Nwobu, had been set aside or stayed.
He also prayed the court to determine if the process of the primary, which produced Mr Ozigbo through ‘Super Delegates’ was in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, which states that primary elections would be done through delegates’ congress.
Mr Nwabunike said the court order, which restrained PDP from conducting the primary, was neither stayed nor set aside.
He said although PDP had its constitution and national executive, both could not be above a court order and that the party had not successfully vacated the extant orders before conducting the primary.
The judge averred that PDP erred by not clearing every legal huddle before the primary, hence the process defied the law.
According to him, an order of court remains subsisting unless and until it is upturned or set aside. The court, therefore, resolved that the primary, which produced Mr Uba at the Paul University’s complex on June 26, was lawful and followed electoral guidelines.
INEC had on July 16 published the list of candidates for the November 6 election with no candidate for PDP.