The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will not hesitate to implement the order of court restraining the commission from listing candidates of the All Progressives Congress for the general elections in Rivers State.
INEC National Electoral Commissioner in charge of Operations, Festus Okoye in an interview with newsmen, said INEC will delist names of the candidates of the APC after studying and finding merit in the judgement.
Okoye also said INEC was not concerned about the different interpretations of the judgement, adding that the commission has a team that will study the judgement and advise on the line of action.
According to him, “We are not interested in the conundrum in Rivers State. What we have said is that the moment any properly constituted court of law makes an order or gives a judgement and we obtain a certified true copy of that particular judgement and we confirm that it is a judgement from a properly constituted court of Law and that the judgement affects any of our processes, we will give effect to that particular judgement. This applies across board.
“There is what we call the ratio of a matter. Why we insist on obtaining court judgments and studying it before giving effect to them is because we do not want to rely on the reportage on the pages of newspapers or posts on social media.
“We want to know the ratio and the obiter in the matter before the court and what were the orders of the court as it relates to the matter before it.”
Recall that Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt issued a restraining order on INEC not to recognise any candidate of the APC for the general elections in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Abe of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Rivers South-East in the senate has urged supporters not to blame the present challenges of the party in the state on Governor Nyesom Wike.
Senator Abe made the call yesterday while reacting to the recent Federal High Court judgment which nullified the direct and indirect primaries allegedly held by two factions of the party in Rivers.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise APC candidates for the 2019 elections in the state.
Senator Abe expressed worry at the present challenges being faced by the party, saying, “It is baseless blaming the governor’’.
He said the foundation for the crisis was laid by the leadership of the party, which he said decided to relegate some interests and stakeholders to the background.
“Was it Wike that excluded some members from the elective congress? Was it also Wike that went ahead to hold primaries in spite of pending court matter?’’ he queried.
Senator Abe said that Governor Nyesom Wike is the ultimate beneficiary of the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congres (APC) in Rivers State.
He declared that those accusing him of working with Governor Wike were part of the problems of the main opposition party in the state, saying he neither being sponsored by Wike nor working for him.
Abe who stated this during a Radio interview yesterday monitored by The Tide accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi of sponsoring a campaign of calumny against him ever since the governor honoured his invitation for his thanksgiving service held sometime in Port Harcourt.
He said, “That whole campaign of calumny against me was sponsored by the Minister of Transportation. And he did so in bad faith. And the person who is orchestrating that campaign is one Chief Chukwuemeka Eze.
“That I had a thanksgiving service and I invited Senators both from the APC and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and everybody in the senate as well as the senate President.
“That I also invited the Governor of Rivers State who happens to be Barr. Nyesom Wike and he honoured my invitation on a day when the leader of our own party was holding a parallel event in Bori (Khana Local Government Area) against me. Is that the basis of coming to the conclusion that I am working for Wike?
“Has it ever occurred to Rivers people that the ultimate beneficiary of the crisis in Rivers APC is Wike. Now who initiated the crisis? Was it Wike who said that the meeting all of us had and we agreed that should bring unity so that we should work together in the congresses should be thrown aside?
“Was it Wike who denied Ibrahim Umar and over sixteen thousand fellow members of your own party who fought with you during the last election some of them, their brothers lost their lives.
“Some of them had their houses destroyed and all that and they went to buy forms just for the right to take part in an APC activity and somebody decided that they cannot. Was it Wike who took that decision?
“At the time we went to Court and the Court said do not proceed, deal with the issue of these people first. Was it Wike who said that? At the time we made a request that since we are in court let us do direct primaries in Rivers State and people sat down and made a request for direct primaries which they knew would be in total conflict with the existing case that was already on at that time in the court.
“And there were two orders of the court at that time that were still in operation but people still went ahead to make a request for indirect primaries. Was it Wike who did that?
“When we set up the committee to say okay let us try and look for a solutions and restore peace within the party and people refuse. Was it Wike who refuse? So all these people turning around to call Wike’s name, they are the ones who are part of the problem,” Senator Abe stated.
He describe the situation the party in the state finds itself as a shame because some people mismanaged a situation that could have been better managed.
On the way forward for the APC, he noted that members of the party should be able to think and reason for themselves, saying one man cannot think for all the party stakeholders in the state.
“My own suggestion on the way forward is that I want to talk to our party members. I want people to be able to reason for themselves. Because we are now in a position where it is clear that one person cannot reason for all of us.
“I think that as much as possible the party needs everybody. In this kind of situation that we have found ourselves, we simply have to accept the reality that where we are today as a political party is a disgrace.
“We have to think for ourselves. We have to act to save our party. We have to understand how the party got to where it was. It was not by accident. It was by the deliberate actions of people who mismanaged a situation that could have been better managed,” the Senator said.