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Rivers APC: INEC Meets To Reconsider Petition



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Top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC are meeting on Wednesday to consider a petition from the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC asking the commission to reverse its exclusion of the party’s candidates in elections in the state.

The meeting follows the petition authored by the party’s lawyers, Messers Tuduru Ede and Co. submitted to the commission on Tuesday.

Amaechi’s political future will depend on the outcome of the meeting

INEC had barred the APC from fielding candidates in all elective positions in the state upon internal wrangling in the party over the congresses organized by the party.

Upon multiple court cases that reached the Supreme Court, INEC had barred the party from the elections, a decision that ultimately put the immediate past governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi at the wrong foot in his cherished aspiration to upturn the political legacy of his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike.

In the letter to INEC obtained by the lawyers wrote:

“We are aware that pursuant to the judgment in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/ 149/2018 between Peoples Democratic Party V. All Progressives Congress (APC) & Anor, the names of APC candidates for Rivers State were removed from the final list of candidates published by the commission. 

“However, the APC aggrieved by the said decision of the Federal High Court on which the decisions of the commission to remove the list was anchored appealed to the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division in appeal No. CA/PH/38/2019 and the Court of Appeal in a considered ruling delivered on 6th February 2019 has stayed the execution of the said judgment of the Federal High Court. A copy is hereto annexed as Annexure A for ease of reference.”

Wike wants APC out of the contest

“The Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division also in another appeal numbered as appeal No. CA/PH/39/ 2019 further stayed the execution of the judgment of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt. A copy is hereto annexed as Annexure B. Furthermore, appeal to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 118/2019 against the order of stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division has been struck out by the Supreme Court. The order of the Supreme Court is annexed as Annexure C. 

“We are therefore dismayed that despite the ruling of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the names of candidates of APC have not been published by the commission for the purpose of participating in 2019 general election. 

“It is imperative to place on record that the judgment of the Rivers State High Court, in suit No. BHC/78/2018 which was fought to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 1332/2018, SC 1333/2018, SC 1334/2018 and SC 81/2018 has nothing to do with INEC as it is not a party thereto. You may also wish to note that in spite of the said Judgment of Rivers State High Court, the commission accepted and published the names of candidates of APC in respect of Rivers State and it was the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt that warranted the removal of the names from the final list published by the commission which judgment has new been stayed. 

“In view of the foregoing, we call on the commission to without delay publish the names of candidates of APC in Rivers State for the 2019 general election as submitted by the APC, we have no doubt that the commission as a law abiding institution will accede to this request without delay.”

“A further appeal to the Supreme Court against the stays of execution has since been thrown out. There is therefore no reason to continue to leave APC Rivers off the ballot. All other appeals as they relate to other matters do not concern INEC. They are not party to them.”

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