The Rivers State All Progressives Congress APC, has reacted to the latest ruling by Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, which disqualified some of its Candidates from the the 2023 general elections, describing it as a failed ploy by enemies of democracy, who are afraid to meet them at the polls and want to break their spirit and force a fait accompli on Rivers People who are backing APC candidates, ahead of the general elections.

It would be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday, November 11, 2022 disqualified 16 Rivers State House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from participating in the 2023 general elections, even as the court equally upheld the candidacy of 16 other candidates of APC in the respective state constituencies.

The constituencies and candidates disqualified are those of Andoni, Etche 1 and 2, Tai, Gokana, Eleme, Port Harcourt City 1, 2 and 3, Khana 1 and 2, Okrika, Ahoada West and Obio-Akpor 1 and 2 constituencies, while those cleared by the court to participate in the general elections are candidates from Emohua, Ahoada East 1 and 2, Ikwerre, Omuma, Ogu Bolo, Bonny, Asari Toru, Akuku Toru 1 and 2, Ogba Egbema Ndoni 1 and 2, Opobo-Nkoru, Abual-Odua, Oyigbo and Degema constituencies.

The presiding judge, Justice Turaki Muhammed in his judgment dismissed a preliminary objection by the APC, on the issue of jurisdiction and locus standi and also ruled that the suit was not status barred, adding that the PDP was able to prove to the court that the primaries of 16 APC state Assembly candidates were not monitored by Independent National Electoral Commission.

But in swift and terse reaction to the Court ruling, the Rivers APC, in a Press statement signed by Sogbeye C. Eli, Spokesman of the Party’s 2023 Elections Campaign Council, responded thus:


“The 2023 Elections Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) received with surprise the news of another judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt this afternoon ordering the disqualification of our candidates for the Rivers State House of Assembly in 16 State Constituencies for the March 11, 2022 general elections.

“Delivering judgment in the case brought by the People’s Democratic Party in PDP v. INEC & 33 Ors (FHC/PH/CS/152/2022), Justice Turaki Mohammed ruled in favour of the Plaintiffs for non-monitoring of the APC legislative primary by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Andoni, Etche Constituency 1 & 2, Tai, Gokana, Oyigbo, Eleme, Port Harcourt Constituency 1, 2 & 3, Khana Constituency 1 & 2, Okrika, Ahoada West and Obio/Akpor Constituency 1 & 2. With this verdict, only the candidates for Ahoada East 1 & 2, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni 1 & 2, Emohua, Degema, Akuku Toru 1 & 2, Asari Toru 1 & 2, Bonny, Ikwerre, Omuma, Opobo/Nkoro, Abua/Odual and Ogu/Bolo were spared in the judgment.

“In the circumstance, the Campaign Council is compelled yet again to urge party faithful and millions of Rivers people supporting our candidates in the affected State Constituencies not to despair or be agitated as we proceed on appeal to reverse the judgment and restore our candidates ahead of the elections.

“We recall that the same INEC had led evidence to prove that the Commission monitored the APC primary before another Judge of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division in another matter challenging the eligibility of our candidates for the National Assembly (Senate and the House of Representatives).

“The enemies of democracy in our State who are afraid to meet us at the polls are out to break our spirit and force a fait accompli on the Rivers electorate who are backing our candidates but they have failed. We will contest the coming elections at all levels and win after setting aside this judgment as the Constitution allows the All Progressives Congress.”

Sogbeye C. Eli
Spokesman, 2023 Elections Campaign Council
Rivers APC

November 11, 2022.

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