The Independent National Electoral Commission has replaced former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Chukwuma Soludo, with a member of the House of Representatives, Chukwuma Michael Umeoji, as the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Anambra November 6 governorship election.
The commission also named Andy Uba, who won the controversial primaries of All progressives Congress (APC), as the candidate of the party.
The National Commissioner and Chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, disclosed this after INEC meeting held in Abuja on Thursday.
The decision was announced on Friday.
The commission also dropped the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Valentine Ozigbo.
Okoye said the decisions were based on obedience to court orders served on INEC in relation to the primaries of the political parties and other processes leading to the election.
Prior to the primary elections, APGA had been mired in leadership crisis with two factions claiming supremacy.
While the Victor Oye-led faction conducted the primaries that produced a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo, the Jude Okeke faction conducted the primary poll that declared Umeoji as the party’s candidate.
Also, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja had on Thursday ordered INEC to suspend the moves to publish any name as the governorship candidate.
Delivering his ruling on an ex parte application filed by one of the aspirants laying claim to the PDP’s ticket, Justice Yusuf Halilu, directed INEC to maintain the status quo by not publishing any name as the party’s candidate in deference to ongoing proceedings.
“Order that all parties to this suit be put on notice, and I also further order that status quo shall be maintained by INEC by not publishing the name of any candidate as governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” the enrolled order of the court read in part.
Valentine Ozibo and Ugochukwu Uba had emerged as the PDP’s governorship candidates from parallel primary elections.
But Okoye said the commission would continue to act in consonance with the constitution and the law and will continue to obey the judgments and orders of courts served on it.