The Supreme Court, on Thursday, ruled out any hope by the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Rivers State to challenge the outcome of the 2019 general elections in the state.
The apex court, in a unanimous ruling by a seven-man panel of justices led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammed, dismissed all the appeals APC lodged to reverse court judgements that led to the exclusion of its candidates from participating in the 2019 general elections in the state.
The APC had through its lawyer, Mr. Jubrin Okutekpa(SAN), approached the court, praying it to set-aside its previous decisions that upheld the lower court judgements that barred it from participating in the 2019 general elections in Rivers state.
The party urged the apex court to invoke its original jurisdiction under section 22 of its Act, and review all the circumstances that resulted to the exclusion of all its candidates. It prayed the court to set-aside the judgement of the Rivers State High Court which held that it did not conduct valid primary elections to nominate candidates for various positions in the state.
The APC further asked the Supreme Court to reverse its previous position that its appeal against the verdict of the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal, was merely academic.
Delivering judgment on the matter, the apex court said it was satisfied with the judgment of the lower courts, adding that the APC’s appeal was grossly incompetent and deserved to be dismissed in its entirety.
Justice Muhammed upheld the argument of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) counsel, Chief Emmanuel Ukala(SAN), that the appeal was incurably defective. In its preliminary objection, PDP noted that the APC had in its notice of appeal erroneously directed its prayers to the Court of Appeal instead of the Supreme Court.
Consequently, Ukala, argued that the APC had no valid appeal before the apex court, the judges agreed with his submission.
Also, the court dismissed two other separate appeals relating to Rivers State governorship election.
In the two appeals, Prince Tonye Cole, sought to be declared the authentic governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers State while the second appeal was lodged by the APC to stop Senator Magnus Abe from being recognised as the governorship candidate of the party.
The court terminated all the appeals on the premise that they were not only incompetent, but also legally defective.
The Supreme Court had on Monday struck out an appeal by the Abe faction of the APC in Rivers State filed for their own candidates to be recognised as duly nominated to participate in the 2019 polls.
They had urged the apex court to among other things, determine whether it was their faction or the group loyal to the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, that conducted valid primaries for the purpose of the 2019 general elections. However, the appeal was also struck out for being defective.
The apex court held that notice of appeal was filed in gross violation of section 285 of the 1999 Constitution.