APC ignores court, insists on fielding candidates in Rivers

Despite a Supreme Court on Friday upholding the annulment of primaries and congress conducted by the faction of the All Progress Congress led by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, the faction insisted the rulings will not affect the candidature of Tonye Cole, its governorship candidate.

In a statement on Friday, Chris Finebone, spokesman of the faction, maintained that all its candidates in the state will be on the ballot and win the elections.

Earlier in the day, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Mohammad Dattijo upheld the annulment of primaries and congresses conducted by the faction of the party led by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation.

Finebone said the party has accepted the decision of the Supreme Court, adding that the apex court only determined the issues of legal representation which had been in contention.

“Today, the apex court ruled that, in line with provisions of the Constitution of the APC, the chapter legal adviser at the time the matter commenced, Mr. Chieme Chinweikpe, rightly represented the party directly or through legal appointees of his instead of Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN who was seconded by the legal department of national headquarters of APC. This means that the judgment given by Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was a consent judgment following thereto, the statement read.

“Irrespective of how we feel about the pronouncement, the Rivers State Chapter of APC has to accept that decision having come from the highest court of the land.

“However, we make haste to state that the decision on legal representation was the only matter the Supreme Court made pronouncement on today. We expect the apex court to rule on the all-important issue of jurisdiction of whether the State High Court of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was right to delve into what we believe was an internal affairs of the APC with regards to primaries.

“We are convinced that no harm has been done to the candidacy of our governorship candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole and the others. We believe that, by the grace of God, we shall triumph and ultimately be on the ballot for the 2019 elections.

“We call on the teeming supporters of APC in Rivers State to remain calm as it will surely end in praise. All candidates of APC in Rivers State will be on the ballot and go ahead to win come February 16 and March 2, 2019.”