January 6, 2023
The coast is now clear for the House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State to take part in the 2023 general elections.
This comes after an Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt set aside the judgment of Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which sacked 16 House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State.
Justice Turaki Muhammed of the Federal High Court had in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party against APC House of Assembly candidates, sacked 16 candidates of the party for alleged Non-compliance with Electoral Act but allowed 16 other state house of Assembly candidates to take part in the election.
But a three man panel of the Appeal Court in a unanimous judgment struck out the Appeal by the PDP seeking to disqualify the remaining 16 House of Assembly candidates.
The court ruled that the PDP lacks the locus standi to challenge the primary election of the APC.
In the judgment read by the lead Justice, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, the court held that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place.
The Appeal Court maintained that the choice of candidates of political parties is the total entitlement of the party.
The court further directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to enlist all the state House of Assembly candidates of the APC for the election