The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday removed the names of the Peoples Democratic Party candidates from the list of candidates for the governorship and National Assembly elections in Ebonyi State.
Investigations revealed that on INEC’s website, the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the party, Chief Ifeanyi Odii and Senator Igwe Nwagu, were missing from the updated list.
The names of the three senatorial candidates of the party, Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North); Lazarus Ogbe (Ebonyi Central); and Senator Ama Nnachi (Ebonyi South), are also missing from the list.
The names of five out of the party’s six House of Representatives candidates were also not included in the updated list.
Those whose names were missing are Idu Igariwey (Afikpo North/South); Jerry Obasi (Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo); Ogbonna Nwanne (Ikwo/Ezza South); Chukwuma Ofoke (Abakaliki/Izzi); and Victor Aleke (Ebonyi/Ohaukwu).
It was observed that in the updated list, INEC listed Mr Emmanuel Nwite as the candidate of PDP for Íshíelu/Ezza North constituency in place of Mr Obinna Nwachukwu, who was listed as the candidate in the earlier list released in September.
Also, the commission listed Henry Udeh as the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party for Ebonyi South instead of Mr Linus Okorie, who emerged in a runoff primary conducted late last year.
The amended list was signed by the Secretary of INEC, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.
A statement accompanying the list read, “The commission published the final list of candidates for presidential, senatorial and House of Representatives elections on September 20, 2022, and governorship and State House of Assembly elections on October 4, 2022, in accordance with the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections.
“After the said publication, the commission was served orders of the court in respect of the nomination of candidates for governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly elections.
“It is worthy of note that the list of candidates was amended in Amendment No. 1 published on the commission’s website on November 3, 2022, pursuant to court orders and death.
“By the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of court on the nomination of candidates by political parties in the affected Constituencies.
“Consequently, the lists of candidates in respect of the attached Senatorial Districts and Federal Constituencies, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections are amended pursuant to the Orders of Court served on the Commission as of December 21, 2022, for upload on the Commission’s website.”
The state Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mudi Erhenede, said he was not aware of the updated list and declined to comment further when contacted.