…As Court Adjourns Hearing to January 7
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal lawmaker representing Rivers South East senatorial district, Senator Magnus Abe has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the governorship candidate of All Aprogressives Congress for the 2019 election.
Abe speaking through his lawyer, Henry Bello urged the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him and other candidates produced by the primaries he conducted authentic candidates for the party in 2019.
Recall that the congresses and indirect primaries conducted by the faction loyal to Rotimi Amaechi group have been voided for disobeying court order.
However, the defendants’ lawyer, Kayode Alatoki, insisted the court did not spare any faction, stressing that the judgment said “congresses and primaries”, which were inclusive of any action conducted by anybody identified with the name, “APC”. He, therefore, urged the court to strike out the suit for its frivolity.
Alatoki maintained that the Court of Appeal’s judgment of Wednesday did not disqualify Tonye Cole and other APC candidates nominated in the indirect primaries conducted by the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction.
“There is no order from the Court of Appeal that APC should not field candidates for the elections, it only said the APC did not obtain leave to appeal against consent judgment, which made the court to strike out the appeal. If an appeal is struck out, you can always come back to do the needful.”
Alatoki told the court that Abe’s motion seeking to be declared the rightful candidate for next year’s polls was frivolous and baseless, because, according to him, the High Court judgment voided and set aside all congresses and primary elections conducted by APC in the state, and so the judgment also disqualified candidates that emerged through the primary elections conducted in disobedience to the order.
The lawyer also urged the court to not just strike out the suit, but dismiss it completely for lacking in merit, saying the plaintiff’s application that the judgment was particular to the indirect primaries conducted by the Amaechi-led faction was false.
He insisted the action of the party within the period of the court injunctions, which also included the primaries purportedly conducted by the Abe group, were affected by the court order.
But Justice J.K. Omotoso adjourned the matter till January 7 for judgment.(The Nation).