16 All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates for the Rivers State House of Assembly have been disqualified from running in the 2023 election by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
The primary elections that resulted in them, according to the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Adamu, were in violation of the new electoral Act.
A few weeks prior, a different Federal High Court had ruled that the APC in the State lacked any legitimate candidates for the upcoming election.
Justice Adamu made a decision regarding a lawsuit brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to monitor the APC primary polls (INEC).
In response to the ruling, Sogbeye Eli, spokesman for the Rivers APC’s 2023 Elections Campaign Council, declared that the party will not disintegrate despite being restrained by what he called anti-democratic forces.
Insisting that the party would file a complaint with the appeals court, he urged party supporters and candidates’ supporters in Rivers not to give up hope.
He said: “The All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 Elections Campaign Council received the news of another judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt this afternoon ordering the disqualification of our candidates for the Rivers State House of Assembly in 16 State Constituencies for the March 11, 2022 general elections with surprise.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to monitor the APC legislative primary in Andoni, Etche Constituency 1 & 2, Tai, Gokana, Oyigbo, Eleme, Port Harcourt Constituency 1, 2 & 3, Khana Constituency 1 & 2, Okrika, Ahoada West, and Obio/Akpor Constituency 1 & 2, according to Justice Turaki Mohammed, who delivered judgment in the case brought by the People’s Democratic Party in With this decision, the only candidates spared in the judgment were those running 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.
“Given the situation, the campaign council is once again compelled to appeal to party members and the millions of Rivers residents who are supporting our candidates in the affected State Constituencies to remain calm and collected as we move forward with our appeal to overturn the decision and reinstate our candidates before the elections.
“We recall that the same INEC had presented evidence before a different Judge of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division in another issue contesting the eligibility of our candidates for the National Assembly to show that the commission supervised the APC primary” (Senate and the House of Representatives).
The opponents of democracy in our state, who are frightened to confront us at the polls, tried to crush our spirit and impose a fait accompli on the Rivers electorate, who are supporting our candidates, but they were unsuccessful.
As permitted by the Constitution, the All Progressives Congress will run in the upcoming elections at all levels and win them.