A legal practitioner, Ernest Nwoye on Tuesday differentiated the problems rocking the Anambra state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial election alleging that “people chose to merge two distinct issues together”.
He further questioned the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize the Ejike Oguebego-led faction of the party claiming that he wrote a letter to the chairman of the commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega notifying him that “INEC had earlier in its reports after the congresses that produced the local government that culminated into state congresses, stating that INEC wrote to PDP that (the) congresses where marred in some states and Anambra was one of them.”
He expressed concern that “Nigerians have been so long misinformed” adding that “only political parties decide who their candidate is” and the “Supreme Court has settled it in plethora of cases”.
On nomination of candidates into public offices, he said “it is within the exclusive preserve of the National Executive Committee” to decide.
In a swift reaction, Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu through a telephone interview said contrary to the claim of Mr Nwoye, INEC wrote the PDP “to highlight and itemise the court order relevant to the leadership crisis in Anambra state and advise the party accordingly” noting vehemently that “that has been the position of the commission”.
The CPS further noted that the commission has no interest beyond that, adding that, INEC observed “neither of the congresses held in the state “because of the leadership crisis” in the state.
Idowu also said INEC “expects the party to sort itself out and nominate its candidate in accordance to the law and in accordance to existing court order” adding that the “commission didn’t monitor” any of the primaries that produced governorship candidates in the state.
Idowu also expressed INEC’s readiness to conduct the November 16th governorship election in the state.
Nwoye however alleged that the commission is speaking from “two sides of its mouth” due to the fact that “as at 5th of March 2012, INEC wrote a letter to PDP faulting Anambra state ward congresses, without which you can’t conduct local government and state congresses”.
He further noted that “INEC also wrote similar letter faulting the local government congress that resulted in the state congress” and wondered why the commission will say it “monitored state congress that produced Oguebego when you faulted the ward and local government congress after instructing the PDP to go back and re-conduct them”
He went further to say “we also got a judgment nullifying Oguebego’s executive”.
The INEC spokesman, who in response, reiterated the fact that he won’t join issues with someone who is an interested party in the Anambra PDP crisis, noted that INEC does not disobey court orders and maintained that the August 11 letter written to the leadership of the PDP has stated fully the commission’s intent.