By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insists that the Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election will hold as scheduled on January 13.
Nkwachkwu Orji, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the State revealed that the commission had commenced training of adhoc personnel.
He stated; “We are going ahead with the election as scheduled. We have started training adhoc personnel in that respect.
“Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High court judgement. So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13,” Orji added.
Anambra Central senatorial District had been without a senator since 2015 when a Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, sacked the occupant of the position, Uche Ekwunife.
The Court asked INEC to conduct rerun in the district within 90 days while disqualifying Ekwunife and her political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from participating in the rerun.
The PDP had to challenge its exclusion in the rerun at the Federal High Court, Abuja which the court ruled in its favour.
On appeal, Victor Umeh, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and his party contended that PDP would not field a candidate in the rerun since it was on its instance that the election was nullified on December 7 , 2015.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja delivered a judgment on Monday, November 20, 2017, in favour of Umeh in which it ordered INEC to conduct the rerun election within 90 days of the judgment, excluding the PDP from contesting in the rerun.
The judgement prompted INEC to fix the rerun for January 13, 2018.
In another judgement, a Federal high court sitting in Abuja declared on 13th December Obiora Okonkwo of the PDP as senator representing Anambra central senatorial district in a judgement delivered by Justice John Tsoho.
Tsoho asked INEC to issue Okonkwo certificate of return, just as it ordered the senate president to swear in the PDP candidate immediately as the senator for Anambra central district.
The Anambra REC however disclosed that its legal department had studied the judgements and asked it to go ahead with the election as ordered by the court of appeal as against Tsoho Federal High Court judgement.