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.
APC Disclaims Suit to Foist Third Term On Buhari
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a suit seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to run for a third term in office, which was filed by one Charles Enya, whom it described as a self-proclaimed member of the party.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday said the party had initially chosen to ignore him but decided to disavow the suit to send a clear message to Enya and other troublemakers like him.
According to him, the president has said history would not be fair to party members if the APC collapses after his second term, stressing that what better proof is required of the president’s resolve to abide by the constitution on term limit than such a statement.
He said at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, Buhari had assured party members that he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took.
“The party is, however, by this statement sending a strong signal to such other busybodies like Charles Enya who may be contemplating testing the resolve of our government on our mission to work for the best for our country to be ready to face the law.
“We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.
“As a party, we would not take kindly to anyone or group causing an unnecessary distraction for this administration through anti-democratic actions. As a country, we are several years behind where we ought to be,” he added.
The party spokesman noted that the Buhari-led administration is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering good governance, revamping moribund infrastructure, growing the economy, fighting corruption, creating the right environment for teeming youths to deploy their creative energies and providing adequate security for all.
“We have tried to find out the status of this character claiming to be a member of our party. If he turns out to be our member, we would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on this matter promptly commence the process of expelling him,” he stated.
Issa-Onilu said APC as a progressive party would not tolerate anti-democratic forces and charlatans.
Bayelsa Decides: INEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner With Over 200,000 Poll Margin To PDP’s Flag Bearer
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate David Lyon was, early this morning, declared Bayelsa State governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Lyon, 49, will succeed outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson, who has ruled the state since 2012
The APC thus ended the 20-year political dominance of the oil-rich Bayelsa State by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Returning Officer Prof. Faraday Orumwense, the vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, declared Lyon winner with 352,552 votes in Saturday’s election. He won six of the eight local government areas
PDP’s candidate Senator Duoye Diri, who came a distant second, polled 143,172 votes. He won in two local government areas.
There was jubilation in Yenagoa as soon as the Returning officer declared Lyon winner at the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Media Centre, INEC Office, in Yenagoa.
Many people trooped to the streets of the state capital in celebration.
Southern Ijaw which is fondly called the Kano of Bayelsa state, gave the APC candidate the boost with 124, 803 votes as against the 4,898 recorded by the PDP.
The APC got 21,489 votes in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state, while PDP scored 18344.
Senator Douye Diri, also recorded massive win in the home council of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state with a total of 58,016 as against the vote of PDP of 13,763. The outcome according to political analysts is based on the open disrespect by the Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson against the former President.
Also massive was the 83,041 votes recorded by the APC in Nembe Local Government Area as against the PDP votes of 874. But the PDP had its share of massive vote at the home council of the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in Sagbama with 60,339 votes and APC recorded 7,831.
At the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, where the PDP flag bearer hails from, the PDP defeated the APC with 15,360 votes as against the 8,934 votes recorded by the APC.
In Brass Local Council Area where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva hails from, the APC defeated the PDP with 23,831 as against 10,410 votes.
Declaring the winner, the returning officer of the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa state, Mr. Faraday’s Orunmwense, stated that with the power bestowed on him, David Lyon, after scoring the highest number of votes is returned as the winner of the election.
But the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a press briefing earlier on Sunday night addressed by its flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the polls in parts of the state.
According to Senator Diri, though results collated by the party agents showed that the PDP has won the Governorship election, ”members of the PDP were terrorized and arrested by soldiers on the orders of the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, General Sarham Jamil”.
Senator Douye Diri, who spoke in company of the National Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council and Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and National Vice Chairman of the Party, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, noted that what is playing out in Bayelsa confirms the earlier red flag the PDP had raised days to the election about plots by the APC to use Gen Sarham, who had since been transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy to defy his posting to supervise the state election.
According to the PDP candidate, critical stakeholders of the party were harassed and prevented from accessing the collation centre in Ogbia, which is former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s Local Government Area.
Senator Diri said the Chairman of the Council, Hon Ebiyon Turner and a serving member of the state House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency Two, Hon Gibson Munalayefa were all arrested and detained by the Army operatives up till the time of the briefing.
In Southern Ijaw, he noted that PDP members who were travelling to their communities for the election including Dr Michael Amaegberi were also apprehended by soldiers at Ogboinbiri while their APC counterparts were allowed to go scot-free.
Senator Diri who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and the media for their show of professionalism in the conduct and coverage of the election, however, urged them to maintain the tempo for the sake of democracy.
He called on the international community and lovers of democracy to prevail on the Nigerian Army to respect the rule of law and for democracy to thrive in Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.
His words, “The collation centre in Ogbia is under siege by the Nigerian Army and as we all know, this is against the laws of our land. It is an anathema because the Army has no business in determining who goes into a collation centre.
“Information available to us indicates that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6th Division has ordered officers and men from 6 Battalion, 343 Artillery, 5 and 29 Battalions were carrying out certain security functions to withdraw from the venue in Ogbia because they have failed to rig the election in Ogbia for the APC. It is totally unacceptable. For there to be peace, there has to be justice.”
BREAKING: APC Has No Candidate In Bayelsa, Court Rules 2 Days To Guber Election
The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has ruled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidate for the Saturday governorship election in the state.