APC cannot field candidates in Rivers for 2019 elections, Court says

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The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, has confirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State will not field any candidates during the 2019 General elections as it dismissed the appeal filed by the factional Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate Mr Tonye Cole.

It also confirmed the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu that Rivers State does not have ward executives, local government executives and State Executives dismissing the appeal filed by Sacked Rivers State APC State Chairman, Mr Ojukaye Flag-Amachree in the process.

The Special Panel Chaired by Justice Abubakar Yahaya dismissed the two appeals on the ground that they lacked merit.

On October 10, 2018, a Justice Chiwendu Nwogu nullified the nomination of Mr Tonye Cole as the APC governorship candidate in Rivers; on the grounds that his nomination was a function of illegality and unconstitutional acts.

The court also nullified the state’s APC senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly primaries conducted on the premise of the illegal ward congresses.

It further nullified all the elections of Rivers APC Ward Executives, Local Government Executives and State Executive Committee that arose from the illegal ward congresses.

While delivering judgement on the substantive appeal number CA/PH/198 which bordered on Justice Nwogu’s judgement, the court of appeal panel ruled that the Ojukaye faction failed to seek leave of court before appealing against the judgement.

Justice Yahaya also ruled that the judgement delivered at the lower court was a consent judgement, adding that Ojukaye faction should have done the needful legally before approaching the court.

Counsel to Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, Emenike Ebete said on the case: “Arguments were taken but the Court in its infinite wisdom held that in appeal 461, that is the substantive appeal, that the consent judgement of the High Court of Rivers state and by provision of the constitution, we ought to have sought leave of court to appeal against that consent judgement. That is their own decision and they struck it out.

“The one for the candidates and the party state executives, we were dismissed on the ground that it was a pre-election matter, that we did not bring the application within 14 days after decision was delivered on October 10. What that means is that, we will approach the Supreme court to contest the judgment.”

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