Supreme Court dashes hope of APC, Cole for possible re-run of Rivers guber poll
Supreme Court on Thursday finally dashed the hope of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its factional governorship candidate in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, to make them participate in the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
There had been a ray of hope that the apex court would upturn the decision of both the trial and appellate courts that barred APC from fielding candidates in the just concluded general elections in the state.
They had prayed the Supreme Court to make them participate in the elections following their disqualification from all elections for not adhering to the ruling of the court, arising from court cases by factions of the party.
The apex court yesterday dismissed the separate appeals filed by APC and Cole on the ground that the notices that brought the appeals were incompetent in law.
In a judgment delivered by the acting CJN, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the court held that the notice of appeal by APC was incurably defective and grossly incompetent.
Justice Mohammad therefore struck out the notice of appeal and dismissed it for being incompetent.
In the second appeal filed by Cole through Tuduru Eteh, the notice of appeal was wrongly addressed to the Court of Appeal in the reliefs being sought that the Supreme Court should officially declare him as APC governorship candidate for the 2019.
The avoidable mistake made the counsel to withdraw the incompetent notice of appeal, which was subsequently struck out by the acting CJN.
With the latest decisions of the Supreme Court, all court actions concerning Rivers State APC in relation to 2019 general elections have been laid to rest.
Earlier, in the notices of appeal, the two appellants had asked the court to make them participants in the general election in Rivers State.
APC, represented by its counsel, Jibrin Okutekpa, had prayed the seven-man panel of the Supreme Court to overrule its own decision which had earlier upheld the refraining order that barred APC from participating in the general elections in the state.
His argument was that the refraining order from the High Court of Rivers State was obtained in a fraudulent manner.
However, counsel to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Okala, had drawn the attention of the court to the notice of appeal of APC where the party erroneously prayed the Court of Appeal instead of the Supreme Court to grant its reliefs.
Okala, who cited several authorities, submitted that the APC had not asked for anything from the Supreme Court and therefore, the notice of appeal was incompetent in law and urged the apex court to strike it out and dismiss same.
The Justices of the Supreme Court agreed with the submission and consequently struck out and the same time dismissed the appeals of the APC and Cole.
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report. Also home to expert opinion and commentary on politics, sports, lifestyle, and more