Anambra 2021: Why PDP’s Valentine Ozigbo could be the one to succeed Gov. Obiano

November 17, 2021
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The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the November 6, 2021, Anambra state governorship election, Valentine Ozigbo, may have conceded defeat, and congratulates Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who contested and won the election under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). However, there are chances that he could be the one to succeed Governor Willie Obiano, whose tenure would end in a couple of weeks.

While Soludo’s victory has been well-celebrated by Anambra people, luck could be beckoning on the PDP’s candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, who finished as a runner-up in the election. Although there are chances that Ozigbo will not challenge Soludo’s victory, having congratulated him. However, a recent turn of events can be argued to have opened a door for a possible emergence of the PDP candidate as successor to the outgoing Governor Willie Obiano.

A couple of hours ago, The Guardian Newspaper reported the emergence of a suit seeking to disqualify the APGA candidate, on the ground that the Affidavit which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contained false information. The report went further to reveal that the Plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine, and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, alleged that Professor Charles Soludo indicated that he was contesting for Aguata Constituency 2 seat, whereas he was actually contesting for the position of a Governor.

As gathered from the report, the APGA and Soludo’s Counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), in his response, argued that such an error cannot be a basis to disqualify a candidate from election. Arguably, this response simply implies that there was truly an error in the Affidavit. With this in mind, there are chances that the APGA candidate could be disqualified if, at the end of the day, his legal team is not able to convince the court to ignore the error.

Arguably, if Soludo should be disqualified on this ground, his votes would become invalid. This would automatically see the runner-up, Valentine Ozigbo, become the candidate with the highest number of valid votes, and the winner of the election. We have seen this happen in Bayelsa in 2019, when Senator Duoye Diri, who finished in second position, was declared Governor of the state following the disqualification of David Lyon and his Deputy. As such, one cannot rule out the chances of PDP’s Valentine Ozigbo, emerging as Governor Willie Obiano’s successor.

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