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APGA appeal panel clears PDP Chieftain, Ukachukwu for senate

The APGA appeal panel has upturned the disqualification of Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu, a former PDP chieftain who last two weeks purchased the APGA nomination form to run for the Anambra South senatorial election. Ukachukwu was last weekend disqualified by the APGA screening panel led by Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi on the premise that having moved from one party to another, there is the tendency that he would dump the party and return to PDP if elected a senator. The screening panel also stated that it refused to clear Ukachukwu over a pending charge, No FHC/LP/CR/08/2015 at the federal high court. The clearance of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu for the senate seat in the South Senatorial Zone by the appeal committee Tuesday has however heightened tension in the party. The appeal committee headed by Chief Tony Ojielo faulted Ukachukwu’s disqualification last weekend and also went ahead to clear him to run for the election. Following his clearance, fear has enveloped all the contestants both in APGA and PDP that Ukachukwu would dwarf any other contestant in the zone with his money and political weight. Others already cleared to contest the primaries of the party in the state included the National Chairman of (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, former (NCC’s) vice chairman Ernest Ndukwu, former commissioners in the state, chief Maja Umeh, Dubem Obaze and Senator Chris Ngige’s former Deputy Governor, Dr. Okey Udeh. Before his clearance yesterday by APGA appeal committee, Ukachukwu in his petition, had cited the cases of former Governors Chimaroke Nnamani, Boni Haruna, Senator Iyiola Omisore who had cases with (EFCC) and yet were allowed to contest elections in the country. Besides, he said the court had not found anything against him, stressing that it was therefore correct as he filled his expression of interest and nomination forms that had not been tried of any criminal offence. According to the petition, “It is obvious that the pendency of charge N0: FHC/LF/CR/8/2010 is not conviction envisaged by section 66 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria from where APGA copied the disqualification clause, I have come to APGA to stay and not planning to defect because of the love the people had shown” “I am a sure candidate if I scale through the primaries to win a senatorial seat for APGA for the first time in Anambra state” “The story of imaginary defection is the handiwork of political jobbers to disqualify a sure winner. It is reading the mind of another person and not a reason”. “Moreover, it is high-handedness and unfair of the screening committee to veer outside the party’s guidelines to disqualify an aspirants”, he said. After going through the petition, the appeal panel said, “we therefore allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the screening committee” “Prince Nicholas Chukwujekwu Ukachukwu is hereby cleared to contest the Anambra South Senatorial primaries of APGA for 2015 National Assembly Elections”

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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