Supreme court dismisses Rivers APC appeal to contest elections

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the ruling All Progressives Congress to nominate candidates to contest on the party’s platform in the 2019 general elections.

In 2018, a High Court in Rivers State had barred the party from conducting any primaries in the state due to controversies.

The court also nullified the two candidates produced by one faction loyal to the minister of transportation Rotimi Amaechi and the other loyal to serving senator, Magnus Abe.

Ruling on a preliminary objection raised by the respondents, Ibrahim Umah and 22 other aggrieved members of the APC, Justice Aliyu Sanusi, in a lead judgement, said there was substance in the objection raised by the respondent.

Consequently, the preliminary objection having been upheld that “the appeal is struck out”.

The Supreme Court agreed with the respondents that the suit from which the trial court entered a judgment barring the APC from holding primaries was an election matter which the court had jurisdiction to entertain.

Justice Sanusi stated that reasons for striking out the appeal would be given on a date to be announced to parties.

The two factions of APC conducted parallel primaries that produced two sets of candidates.

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

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

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