Rivers Election: Supreme Court Dismisses APC, Tonye Cole’s Three Appeals

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The Supreme Court for the second time on Thursday dashed the hope of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State of participating in the 2019 general election.

A seven-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, held that three appeals were defective, incompetent and could not be heard by the court.

The APC in a notice of appeal, argued by its counsel, Justin Okutepa SAN, had urged the apex court to depart from its previous decision that held that the APC cannot field candidates in the just concluded general election on grounds that its appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division was academic having been filed out of time.

The appeals are: SC/295/ 2019 filed by APC, with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed among respondents; SC/266/2019 filed by APC, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents and SC/267/2019 filed by Tonye Patrick Cole, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents.

However, counsel to the 1st respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Ukalla SAN, however in a Notice of Preliminary Objection urged the apex court to strike out the appeal or dismiss it in its entirety for lacking in merit.

Justice Muhammad, in the first ruling delivered on SC/295/2019, upheld that argument by PDP’s lawyer, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) to the effect that the notice of appeal filed by the APC was defective.

Delivering ruling on the preliminary objection, the seven man panel agreed with the submissions of the PDP lawyer and accordingly dismissed the appeal for being incompetent.

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