The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared Valentine Ozigbo as the validly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Anambra Governorship election slated for November 6, 2021.
A three-man panel of justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Honorable Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem, made the declaration on Friday following an appeal filed by Ozigbo.
The court held that the appeal challenging the judgement of the Awka High Court, which barred him from parading himself as the PDP candidate in the coming election, had merit and was, therefore, allowed.
It also set aside the decision of the lower court, declaring it null and void.
The appellate court also awarded the sum of N10 million in favor of Ozigbo.
It, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the names of Ozigbo and his running mate as the duly elected candidates of the PDP in the forthcoming election.
While urging the electoral umpire not to allow itself to be distracted in preparation for the election, the court advised INEC to wait for the decision of the final court in the land and not hurriedly comply with the judgments of trial courts.
In July, INEC dropped Ozigbo’s name from the list of candidates for the election in obedience to a court order.
But an unperturbed Ozigbo stated INEC’s reliance on a court order in not publishing his name as the PDP candidate was “a matter of procedure and temporary”.
He said the PDP had mobilised men and resources to ensure the said order was vacated to enable INEC update its records with his name as the rightful candidate for the main opposition party.
The PDP candidate insisted that the party had forwarded only his name to INEC as its candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.