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Rivers APC Reacts To INEC’s Final Decision To Exclude Party From Participating In 2019 General Elections

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insistence that the party would not contest the governorship, federal and state assemblies rescheduled general elections.

The state’s APC, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Chris Finebone, on Wednesday, in Port Harcourt, cited various decisions of higher courts to justify its demand.

The party claimed that there was no Supreme Court judgement anywhere authorising INEC to delist APC candidates in Rivers State.

The APC insisted that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s statement on the commission’s commitment to obey Supreme Court judgement “is premised on error.”

“We are advising the INEC leadership not to constitute themselves as enemies of democracy by obeying a non-existent Supreme Court judgment.’

“Hence the chairman of INEC must be well guided by credible evidence and not mere media misrepresentations and misinterpretations which are mischievously aimed at destroying an entire political future of a state,” he said.

APC said that it had in a letter addressed to Yakubu dated Feb. 19, through its lawyers, Messrs Tuduru Ede and Co, argued that it duly submitted the list of its candidates for Rivers State for the 2019 General Elections in line with the timetable and schedule of activities released by the commission.

It urged INEC to recall that the names and particulars of the state’s APC candidates were duly published by the commission as required by law.

“Hence we are aware that pursuant to the judgment in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/ 149/2018 between the Peoples Democratic Party V. All Progressives Congress (APC) & Anor, the names of APC candidates for Rivers State were removed from the final list of candidates published by the commission.

“However, the APC, aggrieved by the said decision of the Federal High Court on which the decisions of the Commission to remove the list was anchored, appealed to the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division in appeal No. CA/PH/38/2019,” it added.

It explained that the Court of Appeal in a considered ruling delivered on Feb. 6, stayed the execution of the said judgment of the Federal High Court.

It further stated that “the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, also in another appeal No. CA/PH/39/ 2019, further stayed the execution of the judgment of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.’’

“Furthermore, appeal to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 118/2019, against the order of stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, has been struck out by the Supreme Court.”

They noted that in spite of the ruling by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the names of candidates of the APC in Rivers had not been published by the commission as those participating in the 2019 General Elections.

“Thus it is imperative to place on record that the judgment of the Rivers State High Court, in suit No. BHC/78/2018, which was fought to the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC 1332/2018, SC 1333/2018, SC 1334/2018 and SC 81/2018, have nothing to do with INEC as it is not a party thereto.

“You may also wish to note that in spite of the said judgment of Rivers State High Court, the commission accepted and published the names of candidates of APC in respect of Rivers State.

“And it was the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt that warranted the removal of the names from the final list published by the commission, which judgment has now been stayed.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on the commission to without delay publish the names of candidates of APC in Rivers State for the 2019 General Elections as submitted by the APC.

“We have no doubt that the commission, as a law-abiding institution, will accede to this request without delay,” APC added.

The party maintained that the two Federal High Court judgments that INEC relied on to exclude APC candidates from the ballot paper, have since been stayed by the Court of Appeal.

“It is therefore only righteous for INEC to follow the position of the Court and stop playing to the gallery in a manner that is suspicious and in flagrant disobedience to court decisions and rule of law.

“To this effect, a further appeal to the Supreme Court against the stays of execution has since been thrown out on record.

“There is, therefore, no reason to continue to leave APC Rivers off the ballot. All other appeals as they relate to other matters do not concern INEC, they are not party to them,” the statement claimed.

POLITICS

APC May No Longer Exist In 2023 After Buhari’s Tenure —- Rochas Okorocha

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Senator representing Imo West District in the National Assembly, Rochas Okorocha, has expressed fears that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may cease to exist when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

The Senator, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also lamented that his sacrifices to expand the membership base of the APC in the South-East was repaid by the party with evil.

He said, “I have never thought of leaving the party but what happens next will be determined by time.

“My only worry is that the party may disappear with the exit of President Buhari if the ongoing injustices are not addressed.

“Unlike other governors from the North that rode on the name Muhammadu Buhari to power, the name Buhari had a negative effect on my campaign for the second term.

“But I was determined to overcome that because I knew what we stood to gain.

“If anything, the party repaid me evil for good. There was no challenge I did not face or bad name I was not called in my state.

“They brought in people who fought me when I was building the party at state level to fight me over the control of the party. I don’t want to talk about it but my party did not treat me well.”

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POLITICS

APC Rejects Senator Kalu’s Sack By Abia Tribunal

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The Abia state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the judgement of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, which nullified the election of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday.

Recall that the National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia had nullified the election of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, for Abia North Senatorial District.

Delivering its judgment on Monday, a member of the three-member tribunal, Justice I.P.C Igwe, said that the petitioner, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, successfully proved his allegation of substantial non-compliance with the electoral guidelines.

Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the tribunal to nullify the election of Kalu, who contested the Feb. 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The petitioner told the tribunal that Kalu’s declaration as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

However, Comrade Benedict Godson, Publicity Secretary of APC in Abia, in an interview with newsmen, Monday in Umuahia, the state capital, said the party leadership vehemently reject the decision of the tribunal.

He urged all Abians, APC supporters and ever dedicated followers of Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu’s political history to remain calm as every legal procedure will be followed to appeal the judgement.

Godson, “We reject the judgement of the tribunal completely. We call on everyone, Abians, party supporters and the ever dedicated followers of OUK political history to remain calm as every necessary legal means will be applied to appeal this judgement”.

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BIG STORY

Tinubu To Sanwo-Olu: Make The People’s Welfare The Cornerstone Of Your Administration

Peter Okunoren

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Friday told the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make the welfare of people the cornerstone of his administration’s programmes.

He stated this at the retreat organized for members of State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries.

According to a statement issued by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, Tinubu also urged the current Governor to work hard to achieve the programmes of the party in the state.

“Many books on leadership and administration have been written by great thinkers which focused on the talent of individuals.

“But, is leadership about talent alone? I say no. Talent can only give you the opportunity to shine and get recognition among your peers. But it cannot pave the way for success.

“Talent without character is an effort to nowhere,” he said.

Also present at the cabinet retreat was the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, another former Governor of the state.

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