The All Progressives Grand Alliance Women for Good Governance (APGAWGG) says that the party’s candidate for the Anambra Central senatorial district, Chief Victor Umeh, is not desperate to be a senator, but urged principles of justice and fairness displayed at all times.
The group also commended INEC for expediting action towards the conduct of the rerun poll in tandem with the clear judgments of the apex court and the Commission’s principle of not allowing any candidate of a political party barred by the court in any court-nullified election from participating in the rerun.
This was contained in a release issued by National Cordinator of APGAWGG, Mrs. Grace Chike and made available to Daily Sun.
The release read: “It is INEC’s task, function or role to clear all hurdles impeding the smooth conduct of elections in the country and fix appropriate dates. No political party or candidate can influence that or speak for the Commission which is independent as its name denotes.
“After the March 28, 2015 National Assembly elections, various National Assembly Election Petition Tribunals and Court of Appeal Tribunals nullified about 80 elections and ordered fresh or rerun polls.
“INEC in its wisdom slated 5th March 2016 for Anambra Central Senatoria rerun. Four days to the election, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, President over by Justice Anwuli Chikere delivered judgement directing INEC to include PDP in the fresh poll in violation of the Court of Appeal Tribunal judgement barring PDP from participating in it.
“It was a perversion of justice as the Court of Appeal Tribunal is the final court to adjudicate on National Assembly elections, a position the Supreme Court upheld in various judgments including its recent judgement in appeal number SC/204/2016 between PDP and Mrs. Uche Ekwunife and Chief Victor Umeh (OFR) and APGA in which PDP and Ekwunife sought a review of the Appeal tribunal judgement that nullified the Anambra Central Senatorial poll.
“In its judgement of 10th February 2017, the five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Tanko Mohammed held that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain matters emanating from the conduct of the National Assembly elections. Justice Amina Augie who delivered the lead judgment upheld the position of APGA’s candidate, Chief Umeh that the Court of Appeal is the final court of all disputes over National Assembly polls.
“Justice Chikere who delivered the contentious judgement that PDP should be included in the rerun, recently aligned herself to the Supreme Court judgement and dismissed the All Progressives Congress suit seeking to replace its candidate in the Anambra Central Senatorial election, Dr. Chris Ngige, stating that the period for nomination and substitution of candidates had elapsed.
“APGA Women for Good Governance welcomes the decision of INEC to expedite action towards the conduct of the rerun poll in tandem with the clear judgments of the apex court and the Commission’s principle of not allowing any candidate of a political party barred by the court in any court-nullified election from participating in the rerun. INEC gave leaders of political parties copies of CD of various court judgements on the matter during its recent stakeholders meeting held in its headquarters, Abuja.
“It will be in the interest of justice, equity and good conscience for INEC to fix a date to conduct the Anambra Central Senatorial rerun.
“We urge the Commission to withdraw its matter in court as the Supreme Court has decided the PDP fate, while Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) and United Progressive Party (UPP) did not file any suit against the conduct of the election. Their candidates are eligible to participate in the rerun.
“The good people of Anambra Central Senatorial District desire and deserve effective representation in the Senate. Patriotism demands that the rerun should be conducted immediately.
“APGA Women for Good Governance (APGAGG) will continue to campaign for sustainable democracy and good governance in Nigeria,” it said.