A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dashed the hopes of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Anambra Central senatorial district election as it dismissed the suit by Sharon Ikeazor seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to accept her as a substitute for Dr Chris Ngige. Ikeazor had dragged INEC before Justice Anwuli Chikere, asking the court to compel the electoral umpire to accept her as the candidate of the party in place of Ngige who has withdrawn from the election.
However, delivering judgment on, Justice Chikere held that the time for political parties to nominate candidates for elective position in respect of the 2015 elections had elapsed.
He said: “The time for the nomination, withdrawal or substitution of candidates for the court ordered election in Anambra Central senatorial district election has elapsed. As decided by the Court of Appeal in the case of Labour Party against INEC, there is no room for fresh candidates in a court ordered election.”
Consequently, the judge dismissed the suit for lacking in merit. It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had on February 10 put to rest the legal battle that had denied the people of Anambra Central senatorial district representation at the upper chamber of the National Assembly as it dismissed an appeal by Senator Uche Ekwunife, challenging the cancellation of her election for the district. The Anambra State Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in Awka had nullified the election that produced Ekwunife, who was a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the said poll and ordered for the conduct of a fresh poll to fill the vacancy. However, dissatisfied with the decision at appellate court, Ekwunife approached the Supreme Court to set aside the verdict. But a five man panel of the apex court headed by Justice Tanko Mohammed, held that it had no jurisdiction to entertain matters emanating from the conduct of National Assembly elections.