The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, refused to clear the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the November 16 governorship election, Tony Nwoye, who emerged winner of the party's primary election held on August 24.
The commission, which released a list of 23 governorship candidates and 18 deputy governorship candidates to fly the flags of their party, recognised Nicholas Ukachukwu as the PDP candidate.
The list was contained in a statement by U.F. Usman, on behalf of the Secretary of the Commission.
Among those cleared to contest the election are Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party, LP, and Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Other parties whose candidates were cleared are AA, ACCORD, ACD, ACPN, AD, ADC, APA, CPP, DPP, ID, KOWA, MPPP, NCP, NNPP, PPA, PPN, SDP, UDP and UPP.
INEC explained that Mr. Ukachukwu was recognized as the candidate of the party because of a recent court judgment which was in his favour.
Mr. Ukachukwu, a former member of the House of Representatives, emerged second to Mr. Nwoye, at the primary election. He, however, approached a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, complaining that Mr. Nwoye was not eligible to participate in the primary for failing to pay his tax as at when due.
Curiously, the commission did not list Andy Uba, who emerged winner at the parallel primary election of the PDP, which INEC monitored.
Mr. Uba, a serving senator and Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, had also approached a court in Port Harcourt, which declared him as the authentic candidate of the PDP.
Despite his victory at the court, the national leadership of the ruling party insisted that Mr. Nwoye was its candidate. The PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, handed over the party's flag to Mr. Nwoye late August at a brief ceremony at the party's national secretariat in Abuja.
The INEC statement said, "Pursuant to the timetable and schedule of activities for the Anambra State Governorship schedule to hold on 16th November, 2013, twenty three (23) political parties submitted names of candidates they proposed to sponsor at the election.
"The Commission, after due consideration of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the various judgments and orders of the various High Courts on the candidates for the election, particularly those of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, approved that Form CF001 (Personal Particulars) of this candidates for the election be published.
"Accordingly, the Form CF001 of the following candidates as submitted by their political parties or ordered by the court are now being published in Anambra State in accordance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
The statement also said it "enjoins all political parties to ensure that only the candidates above listed engage in campaigns as candidates of the political parties."