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Ozigbo, Soludo excluded as INEC releases list of Anambra guber candidates

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has left out the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Valentine Ozigbo on the list of cleared candidates for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.

The commission also excluded the factional candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chukwuma Soludo from the list.

INEC Chairman on Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye stated this in a statement on Wednesday.

Okoye, who is also one of INEC national commissioners, cited persisting court orders for the exclusion of Ozigbo.

Before the primary elections, APGA had been rocked by a leadership crisis with two factions laying claims for leadership of the party.

While the Victor Oye-led faction conducted the primaries that produced Soludo, the Jude Okeke faction conducted the primary that declared Chukwuma Micheal Umeoji as the party’s candidate.

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Also, a state High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, had earlier this month barred INEC from accepting any individual presented by the PDP as its governorship candidate until the outcome of a suit brought before it was determined.

A parallel candidate of the November 6 poll in the state Ugochukwu Uba had dragged INEC, PDP and Valentine Ozigbo before the court in a suit marked A/230/2021, praying, among others, for the nullification of the poll which produced Ozigbo.

Granting his prayers, the presiding judge, O. A. Nwabunike ordered INEC not to accept anybody presented as the candidate of the second defendant, the PDP, until the determination of the outcome of the suit.

“The defendants are hereby ordered and directed to await the determination or outcome of this suit and restrained from presenting, receiving, parading, or accepting any person as the governorship candidate of the 2nd defendant’s party for the governorship election fixed for November 6, 2021 to elect governor of Anambra State,” the order read.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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