Supreme Court strikes out Abe’s appeal on Rivers APC primary
• Party accuses PDP of intimidating judges
The Supreme Court yesterday struck out an appeal filed by Senator Magnus Abe on the primary conducted by the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State. Abe, who represents Rivers South East in the Senate, had prayed the court to make a pronouncement on the proprietary of the direct and indirect primary elections conducted by the party in the state for the nomination of candidates for the just concluded general elections.
The apex court however struck out the appeal on the ground that it was defective and failed to comply with the order of the court.The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, who delivered the unanimous decision of the seven-man panel, held that the notice of appeal was defective because it did not contain the names and titles of parties to the matter.
He also ruled that the notice of appeal offended Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as amendment could not be done to the application in view of the fact that the 14 days required by law to file the appeal had expired.
The appellant had approached the court, praying it to make clarification on which of the two primary elections conducted in the state was authentic.But the APC through its counsel, Jibrin Okutekpa, objected to the hearing of the appeal on the ground that names of appropriate persons affected by the suit were not listed on the notice, thereby making it incompetent and defective.
Justice Mohammed agreed with him and struck out the appeal. The court also rejected the plea by Abe’s lawyer, Henry Bello, over an omission, holding that the notice of appeal could not be re-filed, as it had been status-bound.
However, the nation waits patiently for the remaining two appeals at the apex court slated for hearing and determination this Thursday.While one of them was filed by an APC factional governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, and 44 others, the other was instituted by the political party.
Meanwhile, the ruling party has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of intimidating judges of the apex court into allegedly ruling in favour of its candidates during the elections in the state.In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC said it would “allow the law take its course in respect of the purported exclusion of aur candidates in the elections in Rivers State.”