The Senator representing Enugu East, Chimaroke Nnamani, has insisted that he is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the forthcoming polls despite being suspended from the party over anti-party activities.
The former governor maintained that he has been properly cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest Saturday’s polls.
Senator Nnamani assured his constituents that his candidature for the election is irrevocable saying “ my people are with me . They have fully endorsed me”.
Nnamani in a letter to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu through his counsel Rickey Tarfa SAN, averred that nothing has warranted him to withdraw from the race.
Besides, he said, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the People’s Democratic Party cannot unilaterally remove him from the contest because his purported expulsion is already the subject to litigation pending before the Federal High Court in suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/163/2023 seeking to set aside his expulsion from the party.
He is also seeking an order of injunction against INEC from recognizing and acting upon the purported expulsion by the NWC.
In the Tarfa letter to INEC, Nnamani stated: “It is also important for the commission to note and be well guided that by the virtue of section 33 of the electoral Act, a political party cannot on its own arbitrarily remove or change its candidate whose name has been submitted and published by the commission for an election except in the event of death or withdrawal by the candidate.
“Section 33 of the electoral Act, 2022, provides as follows:
''A political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted under section 29 of the electoral Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate, provided that in the case of such withdrawal or death of a candidate, the political party affected shall within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, hold a fresh primary election to produce and submit a fresh candidate to INEC for the election concern.
“Clearly , following the above provisions, the powers of a political party to solely remove or change its candidate following the submission and publication of his name by the commission is restricted only to instances of withdrawal or death of the candidate which is not applicable in the present circumstance.
“Accordingly, we must humbly urge the commission to discountenance the request of the NWC of the PDP to remove or change our client as a candidate of the PDP for the 2023 general elections for the Enugu East Senatorial District following his alleged expulsion from the party.
“We trust that the commission will be properly advised by the terms of our letter herein in taking a position that fosters the rule of law among the parties herein, and especially not to undermine the powers and authority of the court “.