Tension as Supreme Court Hears Rivers APC Appeal Today

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

Fresh Troubles brews for embattled Governor of Rivers State Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as the Supreme Court is set to hear an Appeal by the All Progressive Congress over the delisting of the party from the 2019 from the ballot.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had excluded the names of the ruling All Progressives Congress senatorial candidate from the National Assembly election candidates list.

The exclusion followed a judgement which declared the primaries held by the party in the state null and void.

On January 7, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt delivered judgments in two separate suits, asking the INEC not to acknowledge APC candidates in the state following the controversies that marred the party’s primaries in October 2018.

The two factions, one faction loyal to the minister of transportation Rotimi Amaechi and the other loyal to serving senator, Magnus Abe, conducted parallel primaries that produced two sets of candidates.

While the faction loyal Ameachi produced Tonye Cole as its the state governorship candidate, the other loyal to Abe, produced him as its own candidate.

The national secretariat of the APC, however, forwarded Cole’s name to INEC.

In a suit filed by Abe, the court declared that the APC, for failing to respect the law, must bear the consequences of her disobedience to the law.

The judge Kolawole Omotosho had maintained that Rivers APC would not participate in the gubernatorial, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections.

Omotosho said the plaintiffs do not have legal standing given the fact that they hinged their request on the ruling of the state high court, which nullified primaries conducted by the APC.

He, therefore, issued a restraining order, asking INEC not to recognise the candidates of the APC until a higher court of competent jurisdiction sets aside the ruling.

However The Court of Appeal sitting in Portharcourt  granted stay of execution of the lower court’s judgement nullifying all primaries of the APC in Rivers state and restrained the INEC from fielding the party’s candidates in the forthcoming general election.

But  a Panel of Supreme Court Justices presided by Justice Mohammed Dattijo on Febraury 8 2019,  dismissed the suit, and upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court.

But Findings by PUO REPORTS has revealed that the Supreme Court did not make any pronouncement asking the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to delist the All Progressive Congress from the National and State House of Assembly election held in Rivers State.

The Latest Development is a complex problem for the embattled Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Hearing on the Appeal comes up this Morning 11th April 2019.

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