APC Reacts To Supreme Court Ruling, Okorocha’s Suspension

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the Supreme Court ruling on the party’s primaries in Rivers State.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, told reporters on Friday in Abuja that the APC legal department was looking into the judgement.

“It is not the kind of judgement we looked forward to base on the facts that we are aware of,” said the party’s spokesman.

“The only option before us now is to review this judgement and see what other means that is legal.”

Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court judgment which barred the party from conducting congresses in Rivers, pending the determination of a suit that was filed by 22 aggrieved chieftains of the party.

The aggrieved party members had secured an interim injunction from a High Court in Port Harcourt in May 2018, which restrained the APC from going ahead with the indirect primaries that produced Mr Tonye Cole as governorship candidate and others to represent the party in the coming elections.

Ruling on the appeal of the APC on Friday, a five-man panel of justices led by Justice Mohammad Dattijo re-affirmed the previous ruling of the Supreme Court which validated the High Court order that barred APC from conducting primaries in Rivers.

The Supreme Court evoked Section 22 of its Act which allows it to take over a matter and give final judgment to decide on the appeal.

With less than eight days to the general elections, the APC insisted that it deserved to field candidates in Rivers.

“We know we did the right thing. We had our primaries even though there are issues around it,” said Issa-Onilu.

The APC spokesperson suggested that the party was being monitored more closely than others.

“I don’t know why it appears the APC is the only party that is being subjected to this kind of scrutiny from the electoral body,” he said.

“It is the same APC that PDP has continued to raise flags as being the party that wants to rig election and is supposed to be working in cahoots with INEC. If this is the way to work in cahoots with INEC, we need to ask further questions.”

The APC spokesman said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should not have been allowed to field candidates in many states, if the same parameters were applied to the main opposition party.

He noted that the party’s legal department would review the judgement before taking the next step on the issue.

On the purported suspension of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Issa-Onilu said, “We are aware of the situation in Imo and we have made our point clear.”

He added, “We are also aware of the fact the party’s local chapter has taken some disciplinary action as regards the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.”

The APC spokesman disclosed that the party’s leaders have been going round the country recently to present their scorecard before Nigerians.

He said they have also been engaged with activities to seek support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.

Issa-Onilu noted that the APC National Working Committee (NWC) has not been able to seat on the matter in Imo and many other issues pending.

He, however, stressed that the NWC would meet in due course, stating that may be one of the issues that would be considered.

“As at today, the real issue in Imo is to emphasise the fact that APC is supporting all APC candidates in Imo and we do not recognise candidates that are not from the APC,” the party’s spokesman said.

“We encourage the people of Imo to vote massively for APC candidates. The governorship candidate in Imo remains Senator Hope Uzodinma.”

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