The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed Charles Soludo as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state following a new court order.
The former CBN governor, alongside his running mate, Onyekachi Ibezim, were in July removed from the commission’s list of cleared candidates in recognition of an order by the High Court of Jigawa State, questioning the emergence of the duo and the legality of the party’s leadership that produced them.
They were replaced then with Chukwuma Umeoji and Obiageli Orogbu as the candidate and deputy governorship candidate of APGA.
INEC, however, in a press release on Thursday, following a close door meeting, said seven governorship candidates and 11 deputy candidates had been substituted by 11 out of the 18 parties participating in the forthcoming Anambra governorship race.
“The Timetable and Schedule of Activities approved by the Commission on 18th January provides for the withdrawal/substitution of candidates in line with Sec. 35 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“Accordingly, by the deadline of 30th July 2021 fixed by the Commission, seven (7) Governorship and eleven (11) Deputy Governorship candidates were substituted by eleven (11) out of the eighteen (18) political parties,” the commission’s spokesman, Festus Okoye said accompanied by a document highlighting the affected political parties.
He said the inclusion of Mr Soludo on the list in place of Mr Umeoji is in cognisance of a new judgement from the Court of Appeal in Kano state which dismissed the earlier order of the Jigawa High Court issued in July on the leadership of APGA and the emergence of the CBN governor in the last governorship primaries.
While both Andy Uba and Ifeanyi Ubah remain the respective governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Young Progressive Congress (YPP), their deputies have been substituted with Chukwuemeka Okafor and Okechukwu Eze, respectively.
Johnbosco Anaedobe was initially listed by the INEC as the APC deputy governor candidate while Aloysius Ekee was submitted as Mr Uba running mate under YPP.
Aside APC and YPP, both the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and Action Democratic Party (ADP) have also replaced their deputy governorship candidates in the newly released list.
Other parties also listed by INEC on Thursday to have also substituted both its governorship candidate or deputies include Accord (A), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC), Action Peoples Movement (APM), National Rescue Movement (NRM), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
However, the commission said “the final list of candidates will be published on 7th October 2021 as provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.”