Rivers APC rejects rulings of election petition tribunal against candidates


The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has rejected the judgement of the Governorship, National, and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of its Governorship candidate, Patrick Tonye-Cole and all of its Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates.

The APC, in a statement made available to journalists in PortHarcourt, said it considers the reason for the dismissal of the petition of the party‘s governorship candidate “as hypothetical and inconsistent with the position of the Supreme Court, which had on the 14th of November 2003, in the case of Buhari & 2 Others Vs Obasanjo & 2 Others (Suit No. SC/194/2003 (Buhari Vs Obasanjo), held that a candidate in an election cannot be one and the same person with the political party that sponsored him and that the law gives them independent and distinct personality and rights.”

The statement insisted that candidates can file election petitions together in their individual capacities and that the law does not make them one and the same for the purpose of the petition, emphasizing that “This is even made clearer by the construction of Section 133 subsection 1 of the amended Electoral Act (2022) where the Act unambiguously mentions those qualified to institute/file an election petition.”

In the statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Darlington Nwauju on Thursday, the party said the three-man panel headed by Cletus Emifonye, allowed itself to be, “ambushed by purely political innuendos rather than speaking to the law, which is abundantly clear as enumerated in the paragraph above.“

Nwauju claimed that the judgement of the Tribunal delivered on the 2nd of October 2023 is a mockery of the judiciary and has disregarded an existing ruling of the Supreme Court.


The statement said the judgment of the Tribunal confirmed the fears of the Rivers APC about the possibility of getting justice, despite evidence by the party that Governor Siminialayi Fubara, the then candidate of the PDP was still the Accountant General of the state, as at the time he became candidate of his political party.

The APC condemned what it described as a “series of copy and paste rulings aimed at weakening the base of the party in Rivers State”, and appealed to the judiciary not to jeopardize the democratic process of the country by delivering rulings that have no foundation in law.

The statement clarified that at no time did the National Working Committee of the party under Abdullahi Adams’s leadership, meet to discuss the withdrawal of the state party’s petitions from the Election Petitions Tribunal, as neither the state chapter nor its candidate(s) was (were) ever consulted on the topic.

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