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RIVERS: Court disqualifies 16 APC assembly candidates

A FEDERAL High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has disqualified 16 House of Assembly Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Turaki Mohammed delivered the verdict in a case brought by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In the case with suit number, FHC/PH/CS/152/2022, the judge ruled in favour of the Plaintiffs for non-monitoring of the APC legislative primary by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the 16 constituencies of Andoni, Etche Constituency 1 & 2, Tai, Gokana, Oyigbo, Eleme, Port Harcourt Constituency 1, 2 and 3, Khana Constituency 1 and 2, Okrika, Ahoada West and Obio/Akpor Constituency 1 and 2.

With this verdict, only the candidates of APC for Ahoada East 1 and 2, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni 1 and 2, Emohua, Degema, Akuku Toru 1 and 2, Asari Toru 1 and 2, Bonny, Ikwerre, Omuma, Opobo/Nkoro, Abua/Odual and Ogu/Bolo would contest in 2023.

Reacting to the judgement, Sogbeye Eli, spokesman of APC Campaign Council, said the news came as a surprise.

Eli urged APC members and the supporters of the candidates in the affected Constituencies not to despair or be agitated, saying the party will proceed on appeal.

He stated that the same INEC had led evidence to prove that the Commission monitored the APC primary before another Judge of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division in another matter challenging the eligibility of its candidates for the National Assembly (Senate and the House of Representatives).

“The enemies of democracy in our State who are afraid to meet us at the polls are out to break our spirit and force a fait accompli on the Rivers electorate who are backing our candidates but they have failed. We will contest the coming elections at all levels and win after setting aside this judgment as the Constitution allows the All Progressives Congress,” Sogbeye Eli stated in the statement.

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