Prof. Charles Soludo and Onyeka Ibezim, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship and deputy governorship candidates in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, were disqualified by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, the plaintiffs, claimed that Soludo and Ibezim gave fraudulent information in their affidavit (Form EC9) to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and that they should be ruled unqualified to run in any election.
The plaintiffs alleged that Soludo indicated on his Form EC9 that he was running for the Aguata 2, Anambra Constituency, when in fact he was running for the governorship of Anambra.
In contrast to the deputy governorship seat he was running for, Ibezim was believed to have specified Awka 2, Anambra Constituency.
INEC, APGA, Soludo, and Ibezim were named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who delivered the ruling yesterday, stated that all parties, including the plaintiffs, were aware that just one governorship election was held in Anambra State on November 6, 2021.
He added: “The plaintiffs are alleging false information against the third and fourth defendants for stating their constituencies.
“The question is: how is it lost on the plaintiffs that the third and fourth defendants are not contesting for the governorship and deputy governorship elections in Anambra State?
“Were there other elections holding in Anambra State for which the first defendant (INEC) has called for elections? How have the plaintiffs been misled by the information contained in the affidavit of personal particulars supplied by the third and fourth defendants?”
The plaintiffs were fined N2 million by the judge for wasting the court’s time.
In addition, in the Anambra State Election Petitions Tribunal, Soludo will battle candidates from 11 other parties over the results of the November 6 election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Senator Andy Uba, are leading the other ten political parties.
Surajo Gusau, the tribunal’s Secretary, listed the parties and candidates who had petitioned the tribunal.
They include, among others, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and its candidate, Prince Afam Ume-Ezeoke; Accord (A) and its candidate, Dr. Godwin Maduka; the United Patriots (UP); the Green Party; and the Action People’s Party (APP).
The three-man tribunal will begin hearings in Anambra State soon, according to The Nation.
Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State on Political Matters, stated that the APGA was prepared for the tribunal.