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S’Court Stops APC From Contesting 2019 Elections In Rivers

...Sacks Cole, Abe, Other APC Candidates

The Supreme Court has finally sealed the hope of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to field candidates for the 2019 general elections in Rivers State.

This is sequel to Tuesday Supreme Court judgment that struck out the appeal by Tonye Cole, one of the factional Governorship Candidates of the APC in Rivers State.

A five-man panel led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour on Tuesday, struck out the three remaining appels filed by the APC, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree and Tonye Patrick Cole, challenging the court's decision.

According to the Court,the appeals were filed outside the time allowed under Section 285(9) and (12) of the Constitution as amended by the 4th Alteration Act.

Justice Amina Augie who read the ruling of the court, said the appellants were not parties to the original suit and were not allowed by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt to appeal the October 10, 2018 judgment, because they filed their appeal out of the required time.

Augie noted that the appeals are status-barred.

The ruling comes as a major setback to Tonye Cole, who had expected the court to get INEC to officially recognize him as the APC Governorship Candidate for Rivers State.

A similar appeal by Hon. Magnus Abe, member representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, and also a factional Governorship Candidate of the APC had earlier suffered same fat.

The apex court agreed with counsel to the Magnus Abe led faction, Henry Bello, that the subject matter of the appeal is a pre- election matter which is governed by the 4th alteration Act.

Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the decision of the Supreme Court to bar the APC from participating in all elections (except the Presidential poll) in Rivers State.

Buhari expressed his view during the APC mega rally in Rivers State on Tuesday.  The President said, “I am very disturbed by the decision that we are not allowed to participate in some of the processes.  I have no doubt that I got elected but I have to respect the institutions that I inherited.  I assure you that I recommend that you remain patient and resolute.  We will ensure that judtice is done in this country”.

The ruling of the Supreme Court implied that the APC has lost 32 House of Assembly seats, 13 House of Representatives positions, three Senatorial positions and Governorship and deputy Governorship seats.

The President also begged the electorate to “bear with him” as he continues to fix the country.

He said he would deploy the armed forces and the police in the State to ensure that all Nigerians are allowed to vote without intimidation.