The former deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Hon Leyii Kwane has said the judgement of Justice Chiwend Nworgu has no effect on the emergence of Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the APC.
Reacting to the consequential order from Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the High Court in Port Harcourt nullifying all actions taken by the Ojukaye Flag Amachree led All Progressives Congress in Rivers state the former deputy speaker said, Justice Nworgu assumed jurisdiction despite petitions questioning his alleged bias in the matter.
Kwane further asked members of the APC in Rivers state not to be disturbed, adding that those who lost in the primaries should join forces with the leader of the APC to take over power in Rivers state in 2019.
He said: “There were so many legal issues that were raised. Especially the issue of the jurisdiction, the power of the court to try that and it was waved aside”.
“don’t also forget that currently there are about four petitions pending against the Judge as it relates to his impartiality and all of that which has been called to question but the Judge himself decided to set aside all of that and decided to go ahead and give verdict”.
“We had never expected anything different, we have always known that he was going to do what he(Judge) has done so there is no cause for alarm, by God’s grace we will be victorious on appeal”.
Justice Nworgu had on Wednesday ordered that the nomination and subsequent election of candidates for the Governorship seat and all elective positions in the APC in the State was null, void and of no effect.
Ruling on the matter, the High Court Judge gave an order restraining the National Leadership of the APC from recognizing the results of the May 12, 19, 20 and 21, 2018 congresses that produced Ojukaye.
He said Ibrahim Umah and twenty-two other aggrieved members of the APC were denied their constitutional rights to participate in the congresses.
He added that the congresses were done against the Electoral Act, Article 21 of the APC Constitution and guidelines of the party for the congresses.
Prince Azundah who represents the APC in the matter said further action will be taken against the judgment.
“We have said it before that the Judge does not have jurisdiction over this matter. The judgement is a nullifying.
Meanwhile, Counsel to Ibrahim Umah and other applicants, Henry Bello commended the court for the verdict.
The Rivers chapter of APC, however, stated that it was not surprising that the Rivers High court, presided over by Justice Nworgu, set aside the May congresses.
A statement released by the Rivers state Publicity Secretary of the Party, Chris Finebone said: “The judgment did not come to us by surprise. It brings to an end, the collaboration between Senator Magnus Abe and Governor Nyesom Wike to destabilise the APC in Rivers State.
“There had been many overt and covert partnerships between Wike and Abe, using the Rivers State Judiciary on the matter to scuttle the electoral fortunes of the APC in 2019. Today’s (yesterday’s) judgment is a culmination of the evil collaboration.
“The grand rally staged today (yesterday) by Abe was carefully planned and scheduled by both the Senator and Wike to coincide with the Rivers State High Court judgment, details of which they were already privy to. It was not surprising when Abe gleefully announced the exact judgment of the court on the rally rostrum, just about when the judge was still reading his judgment in court.”
Rivers APC also urged members and sympathisers of the party in the state and across Nigeria to remain calm.
It noted that despite the fact that aspects of the matter were already before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the lower court in Port Harcourt still went ahead to decide on the matter being challenged at higher courts.
It said: “Nothing will happen to the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led State Working Committee (SWC) of the party, as it is further protected against any action by the perpetual injunction granted by Abuja High Court 14, presided over by Justice A. O. Musa, on September 4, 2018, in which it restrained the APC and its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (1st and 2nd Defendants), from tampering with the mandates of the elected officials/delegates elected at the 1st Defendant’s ward, local government and state congresses in Rivers State on May 19, 20 and 21, 2018 respectively, either by nullifying, removing or in any way refusing to give effect to the outcome of the said congresses or by purporting to conduct another congress in respect of Rivers State.
“It is also important to emphasise that the entire 319 wards and 23 LGAs executives of the party in Rivers State are, by implication, protected against the ruling by any court of coordinate jurisdiction with the Abuja High Court that granted the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led Rivers State executive a perpetual injunction. We urge everyone to go about their duties without let.
“It must be mentioned that if the entire collaboration between Abe and Wike on this matter is to nullify actions the party recently took relating to its mandate, by seeking to invalidate the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive, such an exercise has failed. For example, the primaries so far conducted in Rivers State were done by the national executives/ national leadership of the APC and not essentially by the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive in Rivers State. Seeking to invalidate the Ojukaye Flag-Amachree-led executive cannot in anyway invalidate the primaries.
“We commend the Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwankaudu, for his efforts at the court today (yesterday) in furtherance of the collaboration between Abe and the Rivers State government. We also commend the presiding judge for the ‘industry’ put into the process.”
Rivers APC also urged members and supporters of the party not to lose sleep over the matter, while asking Wike, Abe and their supporters to continue to fool, delude and ridicule themselves.