A Federal High court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has nullified the direct and indirect primaries conducted by the two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The court, which was presided over by Justice Kolawole Omotosho, also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Tonye Cole and Magnus Abe as governorship candidates in the general elections.
According to the Judge, none of the primaries were conducted according to the law. He noted that the INEC did not do well by submitting names of candidates without consideration of previous court orders.
One of the counsels to the APC factions however told journalists that the judgement will be appealed at the Supreme Court.
Recall that Senator Abe was declared winner after he got 144, 929 votes in a direct governorship primary conducted by a faction of the APC in the state. However, in a parallel indirect primary held in the state by another faction of the APC, Cole was declared the winner with 3,329 votes.
The national leadership of the APC, however, submitted Cole’s name as its candidate insisting he emerged from the primary conducted by the party.
Abe and other party members then went to the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Chinwedu Worgu to challenge the validation of the congresses of the APC in Rivers State.
The Supreme Court however invalidated the ruling of the Appeal Court and ordered the parties to return to a lower court.