The Supreme Court on Friday has nullified the elections of former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba as the senators representing Anambra North and Anambra South senatorial zones respectively. The Court’s verdict also re-instated the Ejike Oguebego-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) executive with the sole right to hold the primaries in Anambra State.
Both Oduah and Uba were elected on the platform of the PDP after the Senatorial elections held last year.
Chris Uba, younger brother to Mr. Andy Uba and Prince Emeka are expected to take over seats vacated by Mr. Andy Uba and Stella Oduah respectively. Former Senator Annie Okonkwo is to represent the PDP in a forthcoming election to fill a senatorial seat held by Uche Ekwunife who was sacked last December by the Court of Appeal.
In December 2014, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP’s National Working Committee had taken part in primaries conducted by Mr. Oguebego’s executive. At the end of the exercise, both INEC and PDP’s NWC declared Chris Uba for Anambra South, Prince John Emeka for Anambra North, and Annie Okonkwo for Anambra Central as winners. They were going to represent the party at the 2015 elections before the Court of Appeal upended them, ordering that Andy Uba, Stella Oduah and Uche Ekwunife be accepted as the PDP’s candidates instead.
Ejike Oguebego had sued on behalf of themselves and others including Mr. Chris Uba, who is the Anambra South Senatorial Zone candidate for the apex court to determine who were the legal and validly nominated candidates of the party to stand for the last general elections for the party in the state.
This development is coming nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife was sacked, implying that all the three PDP senators elected to represent the state in the 8th assembly, have lost their seats, as the appeal court annulled the election of Uche Ekwunife of Anambra Central, in October. Also affected are members of the House of Representatives elected on the ticket of the PDP.
Ekwunife has since defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), where she is hoping to pick a ticket to return to the Senate. Uba, a two-time lawmaker, was former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, while Oduah was the former |Minister of Aviation, but resigned her position to pursue her political ambition.
This Supreme Court’s ruling means that the primaries earlier sanctioned by the High Court remain the only legitimate ones held by the PDP in Anambra ahead of the 2015 general elections.
On December 7, 2015, the Court of Appeal in Enugu nullified the election of Uche Ekwunife, as the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, as a result of irregularities with the process that produced her as a candidate of the PDP, thereby ordering fresh elections within 90 days.