Appeal Court affirms sack of Rivers APC executives, candidates for 2019 election

Appeal Court affirms sack of Rivers APC executives, candidates for 2019 election

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:28 pm

Ojukaye,Tonye Dele Cole,APC  head to Supreme Court
Okafor Ofiebor/Port  Harcourt
The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division has confirmed the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu that Rivers State chapter of APC has  no ward, local government and State Executives as it dismissed  the appeal filed by the party’s state Chairman, Mr Ojukaye Flag Amachree on the ruling of the lower court on the issue.

The Special Court of Appeal panel sitting in  Port Harcourt Division Special Panel Chaired by Justice Abubakar Yahaya dismissed the two appeals for lack of merit.

The third appeal which centred on the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu was dismissed because it was filed out of time and therefore statute barred.

Delivering his judgement Justice Yahaya,said the appeal against the Justice Chinwendu Nwogu High Court judgement on the party Congress crisis lacks merit, adding that the application for joinder failed to observed the 14 days rules of Appeal.

While delivering  judgement on the substantive appeal number CA/PH/198 that bothered on Justice Nwogu’s judgement, the panel ruled that the Ojukaye faction failed to seek leave of court before appealing against the judgement.

Justice Yahaya ruled that the judgement delivered at the lower court was a consent judgement, adding that Ojukaye faction should have done the needful legally before approaching the court.

Counsel to Ibrahim Umar and 22 others, Mr Patrick Luke said that the rulings of the Court of Appeal confirm that the judgement by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu remains valid and is still subsisting.

Counsel to Ojukaye Flag Amachree, Emenike Ebete noted that the court heard the three matters and in her wisdom arrived at the rulings confirming the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu.

He said: “Arguments were taken but the Court in its infinite wisdom held that in appeal 461, that is the substantive appeal, that the consent judgement of the High Court of Rivers state and by provision of the constitution, we ought to have sought leave of court to appeal against that consent judgement. That is their own decision and they struck it out.

“The one for the candidates and the party state excos, we were dismissed on the ground that it was a pre-election matter, that we did not bring the application within 14 days after decision was delivered on October 10. What that means is that, we will approach the Supreme court to contest the judgment. “

It will be recalled that on October 10, 2018, a High Court in Port Harcourt  nullified the nomination of Mr Tonye Cole as the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State on the ground that his nomination is a function of illegality and unconstitutional acts.

The Court also nullified the the Rivers State APC Senatorial, House of Representatives and  House of Assembly Primaries conducted on the premise of the illegal ward congresses.

The High Court further nullified all the elections of Rivers APC Ward Executives, Local Government Executives and State Executive Committee  that arose from the illegal ward congresses.

In a judgment  delivered by Justice Chiwendu Nwogu in a suit filed by Ibrahim Imah and twenty-two others against  the APC, the Court declared that the ward congresses of Rivers APC were illegal  because they were not conducted  in line with the APC Guidelines  and Constitution.

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