Supreme Court decides Rivers APC fate today

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday  deliver judgement on  the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress against the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt barring the party from presenting candidates in Rivers State for the general elections.

The appeal was filed against the judgment in a suit filed by one Ibrahim Umar and 21 others challenging the primary election that produced Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the APC.

The group loyal to Senator Magnus Abbe claimed the primary that produced Cole and others were done in disobedience to an order of court.

Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour fixed the date for the judgment after taking arguments from counsel for  the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), and counsel for the respondents, Henry Bello.

While addressing the court, Fagbemi urged the Supreme Court to nullify the judgment of the Federal High Court  because the court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought by the respondents.

According to him, the judgement of the court is a nullity since the trial court has no jurisdiction.

Specifically, he asked the apex court to invoke Section 22 of its Act and give a final  judgment on the substantive matter.

But countering the position, Bello urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal of the APC. As according him, it has become academic.

He submitted that by the decision of the apex court of February 8, 2019  upholding  the decision of the Federal High Court   barring the  APC from conducting primary elections, the case had become spent.

He argued that section 87(9) of the Electoral Act conferred jurisdiction on the trial court.

The five-member panel led by Justice Rhodes-Vivour said judgment would be given today while the reasons for the judgment would be given at a later date.