There is tension in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State following the delisting of the party’s candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from the list of candidates for the governorship and National Assembly elections.
A check on INEC’s website showed that the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the party, Ifeanyi Ọdịi and Senator Igwe Nwagu were conspicuously missing from the updated list.
The names of the three senatorial candidates of the party, Senator Sam Egwu(Ebonyi North), Laz Ogbe(Ebonyi Central) and Senator Ama Nnachi (Ebonyi South) were also missing from the list.
Five of the six House of Representatives candidates were also not included in the updated list.
Those whose names were missing are Idu Igariwey (Afikpo North/South), Jerry Obasi (Ọhaozara/Onicha/Ivo), Ogbonna Nwanne (Ikwo/Ezza South), Chukwuma Ofoke (Abakaliki/Izzi), and Victor Aleke (Ebonyi/Ohaukwu).
In the updated list dated 22 December 2022, INEC listed Mr Emmanuel Nwite as the candidate of PDP for Íshíelu/Ezza Federal North constituency in place of Mr Obinna Nwachukwu who was listed as the candidate in the earlier list released in September.
The Commission listed Mr Henry Udeh as the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party(LP) for Ebonyi South instead of Mr Linus Okorie who emerged in a run-off primary conducted late last year.
The amended list which was signed by Secretary of Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony was published on the Commission’s website.
The Commission explained that the updated list was pursuant to various court orders which the commission was bound to abide by.
“The Commission published the final list of candidates for Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections on 20th September 2022 and Governorship and State House of Assembly elections on 4th October 2022 in accordance with the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Elections”, the statement accompanying the new list explained.
INEC noted that “after the said publication, the Commission was served Orders of Court in respect of the nomination of candidates for Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections”
“It is worthy of note that the list of candidates was amended in Amendment No. 1 published on the Commission’s website on 3rd November 2022 pursuant to Court Orders and Death.”
“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Commission is bound to enforce the Orders of Court on the Nomination of candidates by political parties in the affected constituencies”
“Consequently, the lists of candidates in respect of the attached Senatorial Districts and Federal Constituencies, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections are amended pursuant to the Orders of Court served on the Commission as of 21s December 2022 for upload on the Commission’s website,” the statement added.
When contacted the State Legal Adviser of the Party, Mudi Irhenede, said he was not aware of the updated list and declined to comment on it.
He said: “You are just telling me about it right now. I am not aware. Let me find out.”
Chief Abia Onyike, the spokesperson to Mr Odi, the PDP governorship candidate, also declined comment on the new list saying he was not aware of its existence.
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