By Godson Ikiebey-
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, April 11, 2019 foreclosed any chance by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to challenge the outcome of the 2019 general election in Rivers State.
This is as the court in a unanimous ruling by a seven-man panel of Justices led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, dismissed the last of the appeals the APC lodged to reverse court judgements that led to the exclusion of its candidates from vying for any elective position in the state.
The APC had through its lawyer, Jubrin Okutekpa (SAN), approached the Supreme Court, praying it to set-aside its previous decisions that validated lower court judgements that barred it from participating in the Rivers State elections.
The APC urged the Supreme Court to invoke its original jurisdiction under section 22 of its Act, and review all the circumstances that resulted to the exclusion of all its candidates.
It prayed the apex court to set-aside the judgement of the Rivers State High Court which held that it did not conduct valid primary elections to nominate candidates for various positions in the state.
The APC further asked the Supreme Court to reverse its previous position that its appeal against the verdict of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, was merely academic.
Delivering ruling on the matter, the apex court panel said it was satisfied that the appeal by APC was grossly incompetent and deserved to be dismissed in its entirety.
The Acting CJN who gave the ruling, upheld argument by counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) that the appeal was incurably defective.
In its preliminary objection, PDP, noted that the APC had in its notice of appeal, erroneously directed its prayers to the Court of Appeal instead of the Supreme Court.
Consequently, Ukala, argued that the APC had no valid appeal before the the apex court, a submission that was affirmed by the CJN-led panel.
Similarly, the apex court dismissed two other separate appeals relating to Rivers State Governorship elections.
Whereas in the second appeal, Prince Tonye Cole sought to be declared the authentic governorship candidate of the APC in Rivers State, the third appeal was lodged against Senator Magnus Abe by the APC.
The apex court terminated all the appeals on the premise that they were not only incompetent, but also legally defective.