Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia.
The dust raised by the conduct of Arochukwu state constituency primary election in Abia State is yet to settle as one of the concerned delegates, Chidindu Kalu, has dragged the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia.
He urged the court to mandate the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to recognise anybody as PDP’s flag bearer for the constituency, claiming that the party did not conduct any primaries in the constituency.
Kalu queries the purported emergence of a candidate when there was no primaries, claiming that delegates including himself and others who had gathered for the exercise waited in vain at the venue without sighting members of the electoral panel.
The plaintiff who said he was among the PDP delegates from Ututu Ward averred in his statement of claims that “there was no member of the electoral committee sighted at the venue of the primary election.”
He also claimed that in a peace meeting brokered by the Council Chairman for the eight aspirants, it was observed that three of the three-man adhoc delegates “are serving civil servants who should not vote in party election.”
Defendants in the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/89/2022, include the National Chairman of PDP, Iyorchia Ayu; INEC; the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Hon. Emeka Ejiogu; PDP among others.
He prayed the court to “order the defendants to conduct a primary election for Arochukwu state constituency because there was no primary election conducted therein on the 22nd day of May, 2022”.
The plaintiff further averred that a written report by the Electoral Committee confirmed that there was no primary election in the constituency.
A copy of the report sighted by our Correspondent read in part: “We report that there was no primary election in Arochukwu state constituency. We advise that the exercise be shifted to a neutral ground particularly Umuahia stadium.”
The report was signed by the Secretary of the committee, Mark Ogbonna; and two members – Onuoha Chilaka, and Prince Nwaigwe, while the Chairman, Ejiogu did not sign.
Meanwhile, the matter was slated for hearing on July 19 as the necessary parties were not served on time.
There have been protests in the constituency as aggrieved aspirants and their supporters have vowed to resist imposition.
Most party faithful are aggrieved alleging that “some persons with vested interests met and wrote a name and submitted,” vowing that”such a charade will never stand.”