Intrigues Over Anambra Rerun Thicken As SSS Whisks Off Umeh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Intrigues Over Anambra Rerun Thicken As SSS Whisks Off Umeh

Posted: Mar 4, 2016 at 4:58 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwujekwu Ilozue, Awka

The Anambra Central Senatorial rerun is getting messier with the arrest of the arrowhead and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the race, Chief Victor Umeh, by the State Security Service (SSS).
He was allegedly arrested and whisked off to Abuja.
Independent was reliably informed that Umeh was invited to the headquarters of SSS at Amawbia, near Awka, at about 9 am, on Thursday, by the security arm.
According to the source, he was taken out of the SSS headquarters at about 11 am in a pick-up van en-route to Abuja.
Independent further learnt that the security officials said they had received petitions that Umeh was a supporter of the group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Said the source: “I am right now at Aguluzigbo, country home of chief Victor Umeh. His wife told me that he was arrested in the morning by men of the security service and taken to their state headquarters.
“But at about 11 am, he was taken from the state headquarters to Abuja in a pick-up van. They said that they received petitions against him that he supports IPOB.
“They pointed fingers on some of his known opponents who may have sponsored that petition.
“Right now, you cannot reach Umeh on any of his mobile phones. It is like they left his phones in his car.”
The source said his family was worried that in the increasing tension that had enveloped Anambra political terrain, Umeh may run into some harm and that it was part of this reason that they decided to let Nigerians know his fate now.
It would be recalled that Chief Umeh, former National Chairman of APGA, is one of the strongest candidates for the Anambra Central Senatorial ticket.
Sequel to the April election in which he came second after Hon. Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, never-say-die Umeh headed to the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the result of the election. He lost but went on appeal.
On December 7, however, the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu nullified the election on the basis that Mrs. Ekwunife who was declared winner of the election did not emerge from a properly conducted party primary.
However, on Thursday, Ekwunife returned to the same Court of Appeal praying it to reverse itself on the basis that Umeh, not being a member of her then political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had no locus to challenge how she got nomination in her own political party.
That came three days after PDP got an Abuja Federal High Court presided by Justice Anuli Chikere to include PDP in the ballot, contrary to the earlier schedule of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
That singular order of the court forced INEC to postpone indefinitely the rerun earlier scheduled for Saturday March 5.
And that was after some candidates, particularly Umeh, had criss-crossed the length and breadth of the 109 wards in Anambra Senatorial District soliciting for votes.