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Supreme Court criticises APC, Appeal Court over Rivers congresses

The Supreme Court on Monday descended on the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal for granting an application in favour of the All Progressives Congress in respect of the conduct of the party’s congresses in Rivers State.

A five-man panel of the Supreme Court, in its unanimous judgment, held that the Court of Appeal committed “a sacrilegious exercise of discretion” by favouring the APC in its June 21, 2018 judgment despite the party’s decision to conduct its congresses in Rivers State in disobedience of subsisting orders of the court.

While also faulting the action of the APC, the apex court described the conduct of the party’s ward, local government and state congresses of May 19, 20 and 21, 2018, respectively, in Rivers State, in violation of a pending court order, as “condemnable, egregious and preposterous.”

Delivering judgment on Monday, the five-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, upheld the appeal filed against the APC by 23 aggrieved members of the party in Rivers State.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe, has hailed the Supreme Court judgment on the congresses of the Rivers State Chapter of the APC.

Abe described the Supreme Court verdict on Monday as an act of God, adding that the judgment indicated that the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive was already defunct.

Speaking in Port Harcourt while reacting to the judgment, the lawmaker explained that based on the judgment, anybody that continued to parade himself as the candidate of an exercise adjudged illegal would be displaying political rascality.

The Supreme Court has spoken and that is the highest court in Nigeria; their word is final. Today, the God of justice has spoken. They (Ojukaye-led APC) are in a logjam that they cannot legally come out of.

“If you are in contempt of court, the court will not help you. For anybody to continue to parade himself as a candidate based on an exercise that has been adjudged illegal; it will amount to political rascality

“The party conducted direct primaries and I believe the party will do the right thing because as it is now, the Ojukaye’s exco is defunct. As of the date those congresses were conducted, they were done in violation of an existing court order,” Abe said.

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Okpara Emmanuel chidozie
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