The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has granted the All Progressives Congress nod to field their candidates for the coming elections. The Court of Appeal overrides the lower courts judgement nullifying all APC primaries.
In January, JusticeÂ Kolawole OmotoshoÂ of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had nullified both the direct and indirect primaries conducted by two factions of the party. He alsoÂ restrained INEC from recognizing any candidates of the APC for the 2019 general election in the state.
While a faction of the party loyal to former Governor Rotimi Ameachi had produced Tonye Cole as its candidate from
its primary, the other loyal to Senator Magnus Abe produced him as its own candidate.
The national secretariat of the party recognized Cole as the authentic candidate of the party and forwarded his name to INEC.
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Ruling on a suit filed by Abe, the court observedÂ that both the direct and indirect primaries were held during the pendency of the suit at the Rivers State High Court. Omotosho held thatÂ the APC conducted the indirect primaries in gross disrespect of the pending suit before the court.
The court, therefore, held that the names sent by the Amaechi faction and the National Working Committee of the APC to INEC for the 2019 general elections were illegal and should be disregarded.
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When INEC released its list of candidates for the general election last week, it omitted APC in Rivers, based on the ruling of the High Court. However, it said it would wait to see if the Appeal Court would give a different ruling on the controversy, which has now happened.
www.sojworld.com (c) February 4, 2019