2019 Polls In Rivers: Court Bars Cole, Abe, Others From Campaign …Restrains INEC From Recognising Sacked APC Candidates

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (2nd left), with his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo (2nd right),Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Belel (left) and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Cyril Okoro, during a courtesy visit to the Governor at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Kolawole Omotosho has granted an injunction stopping all sacked candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State from parading themselves as candidates for the 2019 general elections.
Justice Omotosho reaffirmed that the Rivers APC will not participate in the governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections in 2019.
Justice Omotosho also granted a mandatory injunction directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove all APC candidates from ballot papers and other electoral materials.
The court gave his judgement in a suit filed by the Rivers State PDP asking the court to compel INEC to obey the judgement of the Rivers State High Court nullifying all Rivers State APC primaries and congresses.
Justice Omotosho declared: “An order is made stopping Rivers APC nominees from parading themselves as candidates for the 2019 general elections “.
He re-affirmed his directive in the suit between Senator Magnus Abe and others versus Rivers APC that INEC cannot recognise any candidates presented by the APC for the 2019 general elections.
He added that all the primaries conducted by the Rivers State APC having been nullified by the State High Court remains invalid because the judgment has not been set aside.
Therefore, Justice Omotosho said that the APC in Rivers State has no right to nominate any candidates for all the elections.
The court warned against the wilful disobedience of court orders, saying that it is detrimental to the rule of law.
Counsel to the PDP, Dike Udena expressed happiness with the judgment. He said since the APC failed to comply with the Electoral Act, they cannot participate in the elections in 2019.
Counsel to Senator Magnus Abe, Mr Henry Bello said the court emphasised obedience to court orders, saying that the nullification is the consequence of the imposition of candidates. He said that Senator Magnus Abe and others will appeal the judgement.
Also speaking, Counsel to APC, Emenike Ebete said that the APC will challenge the two judgments. He added that the APC will also file papers for stay of execution of the judgments.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the court barred Rivers APC candidates from parading themselves as nominees for the elections.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt last Monday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising any candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC ) for the 2019 General elections in Rivers State .
The court also nullified all nominations of the APC in Rivers State for the forthcoming elections in 2019.
The court ruled specifically that the APC cannot participate in the Governorship,Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections during the 2019 polls in Rivers State.
Justice Kolawole Omotosho in his judgment in the suit filed by Senator Magnus Abe and others versus Rivers APC and others declared the APC for failing to respect the law must bear the consequences of her disobedience of the law.
Justice Omotosho stated that the Direct and indirect primaries of the Rivers State APC are illegal, null and void.
The court further declared that both the Direct and indirect primaries were held during the pendancy of the suit at the Rivers State High Court.
According to the court, the APC conducted the indirect primaries in gross disrespect of the pending suit before Justice Chinwendu Nwogu of the Rivers State High Court.
He noted that the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu nullifying the primaries of the APC in Rivers State is yet to be set aside by an appellate court, hence it remains valid.
The court, therefore held that the names sent by the Amaechi faction and the National Working Committee of the APC to INEC for the 2019 General elections were illegal and should be disregarded .
He posited that the Direct primaries conducted by the Senator Magnus Abe faction were illegal because the National Working Committee of APC did not monitor or participate in the processes.
Justice Omotosho added that Justice Chinwendu Nwogu was clear when he nullified all primaries and congresses held during the pendancy of the suit, which included the Direct primaries conducted by the Abe faction.
He said that both the Senator Magnus Abe and the Amaechi factions have no leg to stand in view of the judgment, hence both factions are disqualified from participating in the elections.
The court held that the APC in Rivers State has no power to nominate and sponsor any candidates for the 2019 General elections.
Justice Omotosho condemned the invasion of the Rivers State High Court during the hearing of the suit, saying that actions must be taken to check the excesses of persons interested in destroying the rule of law.