Anambra Governorship Election : APGA Faces Possible Ban

By Our Correspondent


The ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra state, may be barred from participating in the November 6 governorship election. The disclosure was made in Abuja on Monday by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to the commission, the development follows the inability of the Victor Oye-led faction, apparently recognized by the electoral body, to forward notification of its plans to hold ward congresses prelude to the nomination of its governorship candidate which, as stipulated by extant Electoral Acts provisions must be within 21 days prior.
INEC made the position on the matter known in two separate letters.
In one of the said letters dated June 18, INEC informed the party that it had not received its 21-day statutory notice for the party’s nomination of its governorship candidate, a reason why the commission was not in any position to monitor the process as required by law.
“This is to inform you that the commission did not receive the statutory 21 days’ notice for the nomination of APGA Anambra State governorship candidate from Victor Oye led APGA.
Accordingly, the commission did not monitor the said ward congress and as such, there is no monitoring report of the Commission.”
By implication, INEC’s letter was to duly notify the party of a possible violation of extant electoral laws with specified sanctions. However, subsequent events proved that the party did not recognize the signal perhaps the reason why the commission had to send a reminder.
In the second letter, addressed to the party’s national chairman, INEC referred to APGA’s June 16 letter in which it forwarded a list of the party’s delegate for the normination of the party’s governorship candidate. However, the commission reminded the party that it had not been duly served of any notice of the date of the congress where the adhoc delegates were elected as stipulated in relevant electoral laws.
“This is to notify you that the records of the Commission indicate that APGA did not duly notify the Commission of the date of the Congress where the ad hoc delegates were elected as required by Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended)
The Commission wishes to emphasize the need for full compliance with all legal requirements for the conduct of Party Primaries as earlier communicated in the Commissions letter to your Party dated 37 June 2021, the letter reads in part.”
Following from above, INEC concluded that it is unable to confirm if the delegates purportedly used for the said governorship election as submitted by the party, is the outcome of a democratic process, emphasizing that it was simply reiterating the importance of the need for full compliance with all extant legal requirements for the conduct of party primaries as earlier communicated to the party
“The Commission wishes to emphasize the need for full compliance with all legal requirements for the conduct of Party Primaries as earlier communicated in the Commissions letter to your Party dated 37 June 2021, REF: INEC/DEPM/UPPM/119/1/37.”
Accordingly the Commission is unable to confirm if the Ad hoc Delegates list submitted by your party is the outcome of a democratic process as required by Section 87(7) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended,”
From all indications, INEC’s letters were meant to convey the fact that the governorship primary purported conducted by APGA on Wednesday is more of an exercise in futility given that it cane short of extant electoral act requirements.
Even as the new development appears to make bleak the possibility of APGA being part of the November 6 governorship ballot, the leadership crisis in the party appears not to be within sight of being resolved. The Jude Okeke-led faction has accused Oye of deliberately refusing to submit its (Okeke’s faction’s) 21-day notice to INEC after reportedly collecting $2m. The group further alleged that Oye sealed a senatorial ticket deal with certain enemies of the party who promised to employ the use of technicalities to exclude APGA from the ballot. The question now is, is the position of INEC part of the said technicalities?
Publicity Secretary of the Okeke-led faction, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said the faction remains the only option and hope for APGA to have a candidate in Anambra since he dully submitted all the notices. How true that is will be obvious in the next few days. But for the now, APGA’s fate appears sealed.

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