COURT OF APPEAL, Port Harcourt division this morning reserved judgement for a date that would be communicated later in an appeal filed by the Most Distinguished Senator Magnus Abe and 42 Ors asking the court to declare him and all those who emerged through Direct Primaries the rightful candidates of Rivers APC for the 2019 elections.
Counsel to Senator Magnus Abe and Ors, Barr Henry Bello, put up a very strong argument that all along, Magnus Abe and all those who emerged through direct primaries legal encumbrance were the rightful candidates of the party having satisfied section 87 of the Electoral Act.
He quoted a plethora of Supreme Court authorities, including PDP Vs Oraneze, to show how the apex court had in several landmark decisions validated primaries conducted by state chapters of political parties, pointing out that in the case of direct primaries, the involvement of the national organ of any party is not a sine qua none.
He therefore urged the court to declare Senator Abe and others the rightful candidates of the APAC Rivers in order not to deprive Rivers electorate the right to choose who will represent them at various levels of government.
Recall that APC Rivers had been embroiled in a bitter wrangling as to who the legitimate candidates of the party are.
The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed what had always been true, that Pastor Dele Dele Cole and all those who purportedly emerged through indirect primaries were not legitimate candidates of the party, bringing their ambition to end end.
APC Rivers could still field candidates and participate in the 2019 elections if Senator Magnus Abe and others are declared as the legitimate candidates of the party by the court of appeal, but that is a decision for the court to make.
The fate of Rivers APC may finally be sealed if the the court of appeal refuses to agree with the counsel to Senator Magnus Abe and others. That would mean that APC Rivers will not have any candidate for the election.
As things stand today, Magnus Abe and all those who arose through direct primaries bear the only hope of Rivers APC to participate in the 2019 elections.