Candidates in the March 2015 senatorial election in Anambra Central have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the court judgment and issue a certificate of return to Dr. Obiora Okonkwo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the candidates, the judgment of Justice John Tsoho of an Abuja High Court is a welcome development as “it signalled the resolution of a battle that had denied the people of Anambra Central quality representation at the Senate”.
The candidates, who spoke under the aegis of Coalition of Candidates in the Anambra Senatorial Zone Election Rerun, said the zone had suffered deprivation due to the pre-election dispute which, according to them “by the grace of God, has now been resolved.”
Leaders of the Coalition Chief Akudo Chikwendu and Comrade Peter Okala, in a statement said: “It is time we allowed the law to rule our dealings irrespective of how emotionally attached we are to issues. The judgment of the Federal High Court was straight and unambiguous; we welcome it and call on INEC not to delay the process of actualising the judgment.
“We believe the judgment will begin a healing process that will enable the people to rebuild and plan for 2019. We are just a few months away from electioneering for 2019, and so we believe that swearing Dr. Okonkwo in will enable us to refocus and plan early for 2019.”
The coalition also said it was wrong and misleading for anyone to insinuate that the Court of Appeal nullified PDP’s victory at the March 2015 polls.
It added: “We have read insinuations and suggestions that the Court of Appeal in Enugu nullified PDP’s victory at the March 2015 senatorial election; this is false and misleading.
“We believe those spreading this false information do not mean well for Anambra Central and its people; we have no doubt that such persons are enemies of the peace, who may be profiting from the legal quagmire that had kept the zone without senatorial representation since 2015.
“It is wrong to put words into the mouth of the justices of the Court of Appeal; we are certain they are courageous enough to make any pronouncement they deem necessary. Since nothing of such was pronounced, it will amount to criminality to put words into their mouths and see to use same to deceive the public.
“While we call on INEC to issue Dr. Okonkwo his certificate of return, we also urge the leadership of the National Assembly to swear him in. We are all interested in moving forward into 2019. 2015 is in the past and must be closed, and we thank the Federal High Court for helping us close it.”
Source: The Nation