Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC,, Dr Nkwachkwu Orji told newsmen that the commission had commenced the training of adhoc personnel as part of preparations for the exercise.
Anambra Central Senatorial District had been without a senator since 2015 when the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu sacked Mrs. Uche Ekwunife and asked INEC to conduct rerun election in the district within 90 days. It also disqualified Ekwunife from participating in the rerun.
PDP later challenged its exclusion in the rerun at the Federal High Court, Abuja and the court granted judgment in its favour.
However, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh and the party insisted that PDP would not field a candidate in the rerun since it was on its instance the election was nullified on December 7, 2015.
On November 20, 2017, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja ruled in favour of Umeh and ordered INEC to conduct the rerun election within 90 days of the judgment, excluding the PDP from contesting in the rerun.
INEC subsequently fixed the rerun for January 13, 2018.
Another twist was to come when, following INEC’s announcement to conduct the election since there were no longer legal impediments on its way, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Obiorah Okonkwo, who aspired for the senatorial seat in 2015, obtained a ruling from the Federal High Court, Abuja which urged INEC to issue him a certificate of return.
But the Anambra REC said yesterday that its legal department had studied the judgments and asked it to go ahead with the election as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
The REC said: “We are going ahead with the election as scheduled. We have started training adhoc personnel in that respect.
“Our legal department has asked us to go ahead and obey the Court of Appeal order against the Federal High Court judgment. So, we are going ahead to conduct the election on January 13.”
Though everything appears to be working in favour of Umeh, he had continued to campaign vigorously in all the seven local government areas that make up the senatorial zone.
About 13 candidates cleared by INEC in 2015 and who participated in the original election were expected to take part in the January 13 rerun.