By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, in Ebonyi State, Mr Tochukwu Okorie, has said that only the court has the powers to rule on who becomes the authentic governorship candidate of the party in the state.

Okorie stated this while reacting to misconception from critics who could not read real meaning into what he said on the Africa International Television (AIT), on Wednesday.

This was as he explained that as chairman, he would work with whoever the court rules is the governorship candidate of the party, in the state, adding that the courts were vested with extraordinary powers that cannot be flauted by anybody, including the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The PDP boss stated this during an interview with journalists, on Thursday.

Okorie, who during an interview with the AIT, on Wednesday, said neither Ifeanyi Odii’s name nor Obinna Ogba’s was currently on the records of the INEC, as the party’s governorship candidate.

Consequently, the social media were awash, on Thursday, with comments that he said the PDP has no governorship candidate in the state, come 2023.

But reacting, Okorie said, “The truth is even though PDP was arm-twisted to forward the names of Ifeanyi Odii and his crew, those names have not reflected on INEC records. The portal that people talk about was open for the uploading of candidates names and thereafter, the portal closed.

“It is for INEC to now publish what they have. And I can tell you authoritatively that Ifeanyi Odii’s name is not reflected anywhere in INEC records as candidate for Ebonyi PDP.

“And the truth is INEC is being careful with this whole thing and this was why it extended or shifted the publication of candidates names. Remember they ought to have published those names before now. But they had to shift it because of plethora of cases, not just in Ebonyi State, but in other states, that are pending in the Appeal Court.

“So when someone came and said the Chairman said PDP has no candidate in Ebonyi State, it’s all just obfuscation. It’s nonsense. This was just the exact thing I said on AIT during an interview, on Wednesday.

“The point is that the Courts are vested with extraordinary powers, which cannot be flauted by anybody including INEC. For instance, if the Supreme Court orders INEC to recognise you as candidate for PDP in Ebonyi State, INEC will not question it. PDP cannot question it and nobody can question it. It’s a court order and it must be enforced.

“It has happened. It has happened severally in this country. That’s why we have staggered elections in the country today. Hope Uzodinma became governor, by court order, even though he did not contest election.

“So all they are saying is just to sensationalise what I said on AIT and it’s the handiwork of mischief makers, who are continually determined to feed the public with falsehood. And this sensationalism doesn’t avail anybody-Ifeanyi Odii or his foot soldiers. If the court rules in his favour, fine and good, he becomes the candidate; and if the court rules in favour of Obinna Ogba, fine and good, he becomes the candidate. As chairman, I will work with anybody the court says is the candidate. This is my position and this was what I said on AIT yesterday. So, people are merely sensationalising what I said and this should not be taken serious.”

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