The Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Peter Odike, of the faction loyal to Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has called on the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to accept the Supreme Court judgement that nullified the congresses conducted by the pro-Amaechi’s faction of the party and forward the names of candidates that emerged through its direct primary to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Prince Adike stated in Port Harcourt yesterday that the Supreme Court judgement, of Monday, October 22, which nullified the ward, local government and state congresses held by the pro-Amaechi’s faction of the APC, on May 19, 20 and 21, respectively, to elect the delegates that voted for APC candidates for elective offices in 2019 general elections, had consequently nullified the election of candidates chosen through indirect primary.
He said: “I call on the national leadership of the APC to respect the judgment of the Supreme Court, recognize direct primary held under my leadership as the chairman of the party in Rivers State and forward the names of all the candidates that emerged through direct primary to INEC.”
Odike who spoke during an interview in an FM radio station, in Port Harcourt, Wednesday, appealed to members of the APC in the state to unite to forge a common and formidable front so that the APC could do well in the 2019 general elections. Adike continued:
“The Supreme Court judgement has further strengthened the faith of the common man on the judiciary. It is now the duty and responsibility of the national leadership of our great party to do what is right, just, and proper.”
Reacting to a statement made by Ojukaiye Flag-Amachree, the chairman of the state APC loyal to the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, that he remained the authentic chairman of the Rivers State APC, he said
“That is how they disrespect court orders and do what they like”. Flag-Amachree had stated after the Supreme Court judgement, on Monday, that he had earlier secured a perpetual injunction from a high court, in Abuja, restraining the national leadership of the party from dissolving the state executive under his leadership which was elected by delegates selected through the May 19 and 20, ward and local government congresses, respectively.
Odike emphasised: “On the strength of judgments of the Rivers State High Court, of Wednesday, October 10, and the Supreme Court judgement of, Monday, October 22, Flag-Amachree is not representing anyone, any longer.
The Supreme Court, the highest court in Nigeria has spoken and that is enough.” The Supreme Court, on Monday, October 22, set-aside an interim order of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, which permitted the APC to conduct its Ward, Local Government and State Congresses on May 19, 20 and 21, respectively, in Rivers State.
The apex court in a lead judgement delivered by Justice Cents Nweze faulted the appellate court for issuing an order for a stay of execution of an order of a Rivers State high court that had earlier barred the APC from going ahead with its planned congresses, pending the determination of the substantive suit before it. The Supreme Court held that the appellate court should not have vacated the injunctive order given by the Rivers state high court which barred the APC on from conducting the ward, local, and state congresses, on May 19, 20, and 21, respectively.
Justice Nweze pointed out that by refusing to abide by judicial precedents already set by the Supreme Court held that action of the Court of Appeal in settling aside the restraining order of the Rivers State High Court amounted to a “sacrilegious exercise of judicial discretion”, and consequently, committed an act of “gross insubordination”.
The Supreme Court reasoned: “It is a very serious matter for anyone to flout a positive order of a court and still approach the court for remedy. It is unfortunate and wrongful for the Court of Appeal to have entertained a party in contempt of a valid court order to the extent of granting judicial favour by way of staying of execution of an injunctive order when the party at the centre of the dispute was in gross contempt of court”.