The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday declared Vincent Ozigbo as the valid candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, scheduled for November 6.
The appellate court also ordered Senator Ugochukwu Uba to pay N10m as damages in favour of Ozigbo.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, read the unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices.
The court, by its decision, set aside the decision of Justice A. O. Nwabunike of the Anambra State High Court, who had earlier declared Uba as the PDP governorship candidate in Anambra.
The Appeal Court affirmed that the party’s primary election which was conducted at the Prof. Dora Akunyili’s Women Centre in Awka where Ozigbo emerged as the candidate of the PDP was valid.
Justice Dongban-Mensem urged the Independent National Electoral Commission not to be distracted but to respect the decision of political parties that emerged from lawful primaries until such was set aside.
The PDP, in statement on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, hailed the judgment recognising Ozigbo as its candidate in Anambra.
In the statement titled, “Anambra: PDP savours Appeal Court Judgment on Ozigbo, optimistic of victory,” the party commended the judiciary “for restoring peace and unity in the PDP as well as strengthening the confidence of the people in the PDP ahead of the election.”
“The PDP notes that with the judgment, the time has come for all members, critical stakeholders and teeming supporters of our party to come together as a family.
“They should work in the interest of our party and our candidate, Ozigbo, knowing that the people of Anambra State are waiting for the PDP to restore the loses of the past years under the All Progressive Grand Alliance,” Ologbondiyan said.
Meanwhile, the party said its National Working Committee had approved the procedure for its fresh congress in Cross River State.
Ologbondiyan said it was sequel to the approval of the cancellation of the earlier processes, specifically the screening exercise for the State Congress .
He said, “This was as a result of some developments that arose from the defection of Governor Ben Ayade and some of his followers to the All Progressive Congress.
“The decision of the NWC, in pursuant to its powers under the PDP Constitution, is to ensure fairness and transparency in line with the strict adherence to the tenets of the internal democracy of the PDP.
“Under the fresh procedure, the state congress is open to new aspirants for the various offices of the State Executive alongside those who had earlier purchased forms for the exercise.
“The sale of forms for only state offices will commence from Friday, September 3 to Friday, September 10, 2021.
“Waivers have however been granted to those who had earlier purchased forms, to enable them participate without purchasing new forms.”