2019: APC has no candidate in Rivers – Appeal Court rules

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The Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, confirmed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State will not field any candidate during the 2019 general elections when it dismissed an appeal filed by the factional Rivers State APC governorship candidate, Mr Tonye Cole.

The court also confirmed the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu that Rivers State has no ward executives, local government executives and State Executives as it dismissed the appeal filed by Sacked Rivers State APC State Chairman, Mr Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.

The Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division Special Panel chaired by Justice Abubakar Yahaya dismissed the two appeals for lack of merit, and struck out the third appeal which centred on the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu because it was filed out of time and therefore statute barred.

While delivering his judgement, Justice Yahaya, said the appeal against the Justice Chinwendu Nwogu High Court judgement on the party Congress crisis lacks merit, adding that the application for joinder failed to observed the 14 days rules of Appeal.

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

Justice Yahaya 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 Ibrahim Umar and 22 others, Mr Patrick Luke said that the rulings of the Court of Appeal confirm that the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu remains valid and is still subsisting. Counsel to Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, Emenike Ebete noted that the court heard the three matters and in her wisdom arrived at the rulings confirming the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu.

He said: “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.”

Newsworth recalls that a High Court in Port Harcourt had on October 10, 2018, nullified the nomination of Mr Tonye Cole as the APC governorship candidate in Rivers; on the ground that his nomination is 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.

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

In a judgment delivered by Justice Chiwendu Nwogu, in a suit filed by Ibrahim Imah and 22 others, against the APC, the court declared that the ward congresses of Rivers APC were illegal because they were not conducted in line with the APC Guidelines and Constitution.

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