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Appeal court affirms Lulu-Briggs as Accord Party guber flagbearer in Rivers

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Okays Owan Enoh, Ndoma-Egba, Others As Authentic Candidates Of APC In Cross River

The Court of Appeal sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has affirmed Dumo Lulu-Briggs as Accord gubernatorial candidate in Rivers state.The court granted the application for stay of execution on the judgment of Justice Obili of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt which ruled recently that Precious Baridoo and not Dumo Lulu-Briggs was the Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord.

Similarly, the Appeal Court sitting in Calabar has declared Senator John Owan-Enoh, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and others whose names were published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) as the legitimate candidates of APC.

The Appeal Court also confirmed the John Ochalla-led state executive as the authentic one in the suit NO: CA/C/70/2019 bothering on leadership of the state executive of the party and sacked that of Etim John. 

The presiding Judge, Justice J.S. Ikyegh and two others; Justice T. Abubakar and Justice U. A. Ogakwu unanimously ruled in Cases N0: CA/C/62/2019 and CA/C/70/2019 involving Etim John and others versus John Ochalla and others including Senator John Owan-Enoh representing other APC candidates in the 2019 elections that the Calabar Federal High Court acted without jurisdiction in its order.
 
A statement issued by the Director of Communications, Dumo Lulu-Briggs Campaign Organisation, Sotonye Ijuye-Dagogo, said Justice A. Lamido of the Court of Appeal, Yenagoa, delivered his ruling on the matter yesterday.The ruling was in respect of an application brought before it by Wilcox Abereton (SAN), the lead counsel to Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.

The presiding judge granted the application for stay of execution and further granted an injunction restraining Precious Baridoo from parading himself as the Rivers Accord governorship candidate.“By this ruling, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs remains the INEC recognized Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord in Rivers State and the person whose name was legally submitted to INEC by the National Working Committee of Accord,” the statement said.

Reacting to the judgement, the National Chairman of Accord, Muhammad Lawal Nalado, said Precious Baridoo has always been known as an impostor, insisting that at no time before, during and after his tenure as the state chairman of Accord in Rivers, did he notify the national leadership of Accord of his interest in the Rivers governorship polls. 

He said Precious Baridoo never bought any form from Accord to contest the governorship election in Rivers and was never at any time the candidate of the party in Rivers governorship elections.The Appeal Court noted that the Calabar Federal High Court couldn’t grant relief and make orders against persons who were not parties before the court. A situation where INEC acted upon to delist earlier enlisted candidates, was frowned at.

The court accordingly set aside the judgment of the Calabar Federal High Court describing same as “being pervasive and where no relief was sought… were made gratuitous and without fair hearing and against established principles of the law.” The Appeal Court awarded the cost of #500, 000 each in favour of all of the appellants.


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