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Rivers APC can’t contest 2019 polls, Court of Appeal insists

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Quest by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the 2019 elections in Rivers State has suffered another major setback as the Court of Appeal yesterday affirmed the nullification of its congresses and primaries.

The appellate court sitting in Port Harcourt had dismissed APC’s appeal challenging the verdict of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers State High Court that earlier voided the congresses.

It, therefore, admonished the party to always learn to obey court orders.

But dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling in December, which dismissed its appeal on the basis that the matter was filed out of the stipulated time, the APC filed another appeal claiming the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

After listening to the argument by APC counsels, Justice C.N. Uwa, argued that the case filed at Rivers State High Court that precipitated the appeal was a pre-election matter and ought to have been appealed and disposed off within 60 days after the lower court’s judgment.

She explained that where an action is status bound, the appellate court has no constitutional right to hear it, adding that an earlier appeal challenging the judgment of the lower court had been dismissed because the APC filed the matter 25 days after Justice Nworgu’s verdict.

“This is a pre-election matter. The Court has earlier held this in an appeal of the substantive matter. This court cannot seat against itself on the same matter. The appeal is fundamentally defective. The court cannot go into the matter, as doing so will amount to an effort in futility.

“It is unnecessary to continue an appeal, no matter the merit, which this court has held as status bound. It would be an effort in futility to continue. This appeal is hereby struck out,” she said.


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