4th February, 2019
Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt
The Appeal Court has granted a stay of execution on a ruling by the High Court, nullifying the Primary Election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, on Monday nullified the direct and indirect primary elections allegedly conducted by two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers.
Delivering Judgment, the Presiding Judge, Justice Mustapha Muhammed said the stay of execution was necessitated by the multiplicity of the Appeals against the judgment of of the Federal High Court.
He held that the matter was appealed by almost all parties in the case.
The Judge said it would be unjust not to grant the stay of execution for the parties to achieve their goal to be on the ballot for the ballot.
By the judgement of the Federal High Court, Justice kolawole Omotosho had nullified all the party primaries, both direct or indirect that produced the candidate of the two factions of the party.
In a swift reaction, Rivers APC said “The Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt today (Monday, 4th of February, 2019) has granted Stay of Execution on the Judgement of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court which nullified all primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from fielding the party’s candidates in the forthcoming 2019 elections.
“We have always said that the wheel of justice may grind slowly, sometimes annoyingly slow, but surely justice comes ultimately. We believe that today’s judgment has vindicated APC in Rivers State.”
It further expressed optimism that anyone who has carefully and painstakingly followed the pending matter at the Supreme Court, especially, during the last sitting before the apex court reserved ruling, would easily and safely conclude that “our victory at the Supreme Court is only a matter of time.”
APC opined that the “key issues of representation and Jurisdiction which Justice Chiwendu Nworgu deliberately overlooked in tailoring his judgment to fit into a predetermined purpose, and yet bandy it as a consent judgment, will be completely deconstructed by the excellent legal minds on the Supreme Court bench. In this particular case, the end will justify our dogged efforts as we shall, once again, prevail by God’s grace!”
The party enjoined all Rivers APC faithful to remain resolute “as we are set to recover all that Satan has battled so hard to take away from us.”
“INEC, by today’s Appeal Court ruling, should by now be reinstating our candidates’ names on the ballot in line with the status quo before the pronouncement by the Federal High Court of Justice Omotosho,”
Our Correspondent who was in court reports that immediately the Court pronounced the stay of execution, supporters of Tonye Cole, the Governorship candidate was carried shoulder high.
It would be recalled that an APC governorship aspirant, Sen. Magnus Abe and other party members had approached the court presided over by Justice Chinwedu Worgu, challenging their alleged exclusion from the primaries.
Abe and his supporters had alleged high-handedness and irregularities in the planned conduct of the party primaries.
Justice Omotosho held that the APC in Rivers could not produce candidates for governorship, national and state assembly polls, while the matter was pending.
According to him, it is illegal for candidates for the 2019 elections to emerge from the two primaries conducted by the two factions.
The two primaries as claimed by the factions were held during the pendency of the matter at the state high court.
-More details shortly…