Again, Court Sacks 16 APC  Rivers Assembly Candidates

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Two weeks after a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt declared candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) invalid for the 2023 general elections, another Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday, disqualified 16 state constituency candidates of the party in the state and also upheld 16 state house of candidates.

Justice E.A. Obile had nullified the Primaries of  the APC, in the state following a suit filed by one George Orlu and four others over alleged exclusion  in the party’s primaries 

However, Justice Turaki Muhammed of the Federal High Court, in his ruling yesterday, sacked the 16 candidates of the party for the state assembly seats out of 32.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had filed the case against the APC registered in suit (FHC/PH/CS/152/2022).

The PDP claimed in the suit that the primaries of the affected candidates were not monitored by the officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The affected state constituencies and their candidates disqualified are 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 state constituencies.

The candidates cleared by the court to participate in the 2023 general elections are 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, Abua-Odua, Oyigbo and Degema constituencies.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed in his judgment first dismissed preliminary objection by APC, on the issue of jurisdiction and locus Standi as well as issues of status barred.

Justice Mohammed, who assumed jurisdiction held that the PDP was able to prove to the court that primary elections that produced the APC 16 candidates were not monitored by INEC. 

Reacting on the ruling, , the party said it will not break following the recent two court judgements that has sacked its candidates for the 2023 general elections.

The Spokesman, APC’s 2023 Elections Campaign Council, Sogbeye Eli, stated that the party is stretched by the anti-democratic forces, adding that the party would not break.

He said: “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.

“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.”

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