INEC Clears Air on Uduaghan’s Candidacy

The uncertainty hitherto surrounding the candidacy of Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of Delta State as the Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has been cleared as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) laid to rest yesterday the controversial court order, asserting that no court had ordered the commission to drop his name. The news had been making the rounds in the past few days that an Abuja High Court had nullified Uduaghan’s candidacy and ordered a fresh primary election. The suit No. FCT/HC /CV/017/18 was said to have been filed by a chieftain of the party and an aspirant, retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Terry Okorodudu, who faulted the process that produced Uduaghan in which he (Okorodudu) and others were excluded from the controversial APC primary election. He was said to have informed the court that the decision to clear only Uduaghan for the election and making him a sole candidate, leading to an affirmation and not election, was outrightly fraudulent, stating that no fair opportunity was given to other aspirants.

A shell-shocked Uduaghan however claimed he had no knowledge of the said suit. Reacting to the said judgment in a statement by his media assistant, Monoyo Edon, the former governor said he was never aware of the case, nor was he a party to the case and was never joined in the alleged suit. Edon stated unequivocally that “the court had no time ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan from the list of candidates in the election”, adding that his principal had instructed his lawyers to take necessary legal steps on the matter. The development had caused anxiety in the camp of the former governor hence the assurance by Edon that “His Excellency, Dr Uduaghan remains the candidate of the APC for Delta South and we are confident of winning the election.”

This was to be confirmed by the election umpire at a press conference in Asaba, the state capital yesterday by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Cyril Omorogbe, who said the Commission was not aware of such judgement against the former governor. Omorogbe said the court had at no time ordered INEC to delete Uduaghan’s name from the list of contestants in Saturday’s election. According to him, “I am only aware of the case of eight wards in Burutu that later came to 10. We have postponed the matter until after elections. I will not talk much about the court case in Ethiope West (involving Hon. Halim Agoda, a former member of the House of Representatives and Chief Edojah) until I get information from the high command of the commission. We are not aware of any other judgement”.

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