An Abuja High yesterday set aside the nomination of Professor Charles Soludo and Senator Emmanuel Anosike as the Peoples Democratic Party’s flag-bearer and running mate respectively for the February 10 Anambra State gubernatorial election.
Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, one of the candidates in the botched PDP primaries had approached the court to complain that the selection of Soludo and Anosike was an abuse of an Anambra State High order, which had earlier placed an injunction on the selection process.
But in a swift reaction, the counsel representing Soludo, Mr Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) dismissed the propriety of Mr. Ozigbo to go to court, stating that under the PDP constitution, the National Executive Commi-ttee of the party has the final say on the selection of candidates.
He stated that the power and rights of the PDP to select a candidate are unquestionable and that the court has been misled into thinking that Soludo and Anosike emerged from a congressional meeting of the party.
“That wasn’t the case. The party obeyed the court order barring it from holding a congress. But that does not stop the party from selecting a candidate through other means,” Ikwueto explained.
In his suit at the Abuja High Court, Ozigbo argued that the Ikulobia High Court (Anambra) injunction was not vacated before Soludo and Anosike were selected by the PDP leadership.
In his judgement, Justice Danlami Senchai set aside Soludo and Anosike’s selection and ordered that they should not be recognised by INEC.
Reacting, the National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Olusola Oke said the party was caught unawares by the ruling because it was not joined as a party in the suit.
Oke said the party will do everything possible to vacate the order or have it over-turned in a higher court.
Similarly, Ikwueto added that his client was never served and is uncertain if an ex-parte motion was granted by the Abuja High Court or not.
“All efforts when we heard this evening to get some clarity from the court proved abortive.
“But I suspect that a motion was granted, and as early as Monday, we will file an order before the court asking the court to vacate the motion over which it has no jurisdiction.”