The joy of the All Progressives Congress, APC, members over the earlier judgment by the Appeal Court for Stay of Execution last Monday has been cut short.
This is as the Supreme Court, on Friday, upheld that the judgments of the lower courts barring the party from fielding candidates in the elections were decisions well taken by the guidance of the law.
Only on Thursday, Architect Tonye Cole, one of the party’s governorship candidates had threatened that there would be no election in the state without its candidates on the strength of the verdict of the appellate court, which had ordered a stay of execution on the verdict of the Federal High Court, initially forbidding the party’s candidates, due to faulty primaries conducted in 2018.
In his response to the Apex Court’s ruling, the spokesman of the APC in Rivers State, Chris Finebone said APC was reluctant to join issues with anyone when it concerns matters before the court.
However, “we believe that the general public deserve to be protected from calculated mischief and misinformation especially those dispensed through the social media and rumours. Therefore, it has become highly necessary to re-state what transpired at the Supreme Court.
Today, (yesterday) the apex court ruled that, in line with provisions of the Constitution of the APC, the chapter legal adviser at the time the matter commenced, Mr. Chieme Chinweikpe, rightly represented the party directly or through legal appointees of his instead of Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN who was seconded by the legal department of national headquarters of APC. This means that the judgment given by Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was a consent judgment following thereto.
“Irrespective of how we feel about the pronouncement, the Rivers State Chapter of APC has to accept that decision having come from the highest court of the land.
“We make haste to state that the decision on legal representation was the only matter the Supreme Court made pronouncement on today. We expect the apex court to rule on the all-important issue of jurisdiction of whether the State High Court of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was right to delve into what we believe was an internal affairs of the APC with regards to primaries.”
Chris urged the mainstream media and innocent members of the public to resist the lure of mischievous individuals who are inundating the social media and entire cyberspace with jaundiced versions of the Supreme Court ruling or churning out outright fake news with a view to deceiving the public, “deluding themselves with short-lived comfort and feathering their nests from their paymasters”.
He said he was convinced that no harm has been done to the candidacy of the governorship candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole and the others. “We believe that, by the grace of God, we shall triumph and ultimately be on the ballot for the 2019 elections.
“We call on the teeming supporters of APC in Rivers State to remain calm as it will surely end in praise. All candidates of APC in Rivers State will be on the ballot and go ahead to win come February 16 and March 2, 2019”.
Reacting to the judgment through a statement, APC Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, said that the party is not ready to join words with anyone when it concerns matters before the court, stating that while the state chapter of the party accepts the judgment having come from the highest court of the land, it is a short-lived comfort.