Court Didn’t Order INEC To Relist Rivers APC Candidates -Abe …Stay Of Execution, Not Yet Uhuru -PDP


The Senator representing Rivers South-East District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has said that the ruling of the Court of Appeal granting stay of execution to enable the All Progressives Congress (APC) appear on the ballot box in Rivers State is welcomed, but that court did not restore the name of anyone.
This is as he said the court did not order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restore names of candidates for the 2019 Governorship, State House of Assembly and National Assembly elections.
Abe who stated this in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson said the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt merely gave a stay to enable the party prepare for the forthcoming general elections.
He said that it has always been of his view that what is required in APC Rivers is a dispassionate review of the issues in contention so that a clear and definite decision can be made on those to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming elections.
“The statement reads in parts, “the facts are simple and sacred. A faction of the party led by the Minister of Transportation and the Director General of the Presidential Campaign conducted congresses and indirect primaries in clear and open violation of the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“This was done in the full glare of the entire country,” saying the issue was taken up to the Supreme Court, and the court in its wisdom held that having disobeyed the court so openly they were not entitled to any relief from the courts.
“This position was clearly set out in Ibrahim Umar & Ors Vs. APC as reported in Part 1650, 18. Nigerian weekly law reports at page 139”, he maintained.
He went further to say that all the actions based on that illegality was voided and remained void.
“The judgment that is now being stayed was based in part on that position of the Supreme Court”. However, he stated, “what Nigerians are witnessing now is a desperate attempt to reverse the law to get the President to raise the hand of candidates that the law has said does not exist.
“The President’s decision to abide strictly to the correct legal position is the reason for the current pressure on the Judiciary,” he stated.
Senator Abe who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA congratulated their Lordships for the decision which according to him, is in line with the position of all Nigerians that APC must be on the ballot in Rivers State.
He further stated that the application to declare any faction as the authentic candidates of the party was specifically rejected. “That issue is the subject of series of pending litigations before Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal”, Abe added
“The main issue that must now agitate the minds of Nigerians is the position of the Supreme Court on the matter moving forward. Or can the court of appeal now overturn an existing judgment of the Supreme Court? He questioned?
“The indirect primaries did not hold by law, but the APC conducted a valid, and lawful direct primaries that clearly puts the APC on the ballot without legal entanglements.
“Let me assure all lovers of justice that a change of the judges does not automatically translate into a change of the law. Therefore, we should all remain calm. The struggle for justice in the party will continue until victory is achieved”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the ruling by the Court of Appeal on Stay of Execution does not in any way give the All Progressives Congress (APC) edge over the PDP in the forthcoming general elections.
The Chairman of the PDP in Rivers State, Bro. Felix Obuah stated this against what he described as laughable jubilation by some section of ignorant APC members, stressing that the ruling is not a judgment but merely a stay, pending the determination of the substantive case.
“It’s not yet uhuru for APC, so our humble advice is for them not to jubilate yet as the end result might be suicidal considering the plethora of cases before the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court respectively”, counseled Obuah, adding that the ruling did not also give any express directive to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to relist APC candidates, because, according to him, INEC did not file any paper before the appellate court.
Bro. Obuah further stated that the ruling in its context did not in any way invalidate Justice Omotosho and Justice Nwogu’s judgments barring the Rivers APC from participating in the 2019 General Elections.
“PDP is not in any way perturbed by the ruling. Rivers people and Nigerians at large are anxiously waiting for February 16 and March 2, 2019 respectively, to sweep away the evil regime of the APC.
“Wike will win the Governorship of Rivers State while Atiku will emerge victorious as President of Nigeria as well as other PDP candidates. This is an indisputable reality, so APC supporters should stop wallowing in illusion”, declared Bro. Obuah.
The Rivers PDP boss added that getting a Stay of Execution is normal, noting that a Stay of Execution can only be effective when the order or judgment has not been enforced.
“On this instant case of the APC, the judgment has been enforced and Rivers APC candidates delisted from the final list of contestants by INEC.
Bro. Obuah also noted that APC was yet to vacate the plethora of judgments against them, stressing that it would be foolhardy to rejoice over a mere stay of execution that is temporary as against a permanent judgment.
More importantly, Bro Obuah questioned, “Can the desperate APC members reverse the decision of the Supreme Court which held that having disobeyed the court so openly, they were not entitled to any relief from the courts, as reported in part 1650, 18 Nigerian weekly law reports on page 139, Ibrahim Umar & Ors Vs APC”.