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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member in Ebonyi State, Mr Silas Onu, on Friday, said Governor Francis Nwifuru contravened the law by contesting under the All Progressives Congress (APC) while still paying PDP membership dues up till March when the governorship election was held.
Onu was responding to the tribunal ruling affirming Nwifuru’s victory in the March 18 poll.
The legal practitioner, who appeared on the Friday edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, argued that the APC could not sponsor a member of PDP based on Section 177 of the constitution.
“What we are saying is that APC cannot sponsor a member of PDP as clearly provided under section 177(c),” he said.
In Onu’s view, the argument for Nwifuru’s status as a PDP member is supported by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) membership registry.
He stated that the registry “plainly” shows the candidate’s name under the PDP rather than the APC.
Asked to comment on whether the tribunal cannot say, as it ruled, that the case borders on Nwifuru’s qualification, he asserted, “It is qualification.”
According to him, as of March when the election took place, “this man [Nwifuru] we are talking about paid his membership dues in PDP. In the membership register of parties obtained from INEC, this name is not under the APC, his name is under PDP.”
Onu expressed frustration with the legal system, stating that the law’s intended effect and the qualifications outlined in Section 177(c) of the constitution appeared to have been rendered ineffective.
“The law is of no effect, qualification of Section 177(c) is of no use, so we should just delete that section,” he said.