The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, has said that the nullification of the governorship primary election in the state by a High Court in Port Harcourt did not come to it as a surprise.
The party said that the judgement was expected from the court presided over by Justice Chiwendu Worgu, adding that the State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the Senator representing Rivers South East must have deceived the judge.
In a statement signed by the chapter’s Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, and made available to reporters on Thursday, the party said, “to our expectation, the court presided over by Justice Chiwendu Worgu said it has set aside ward, local government and state congresses of the APC held in May, 2018.”
The APC urged its supporters not to lose sleep over the matter, adding that appeal and stay of execution on the matter have been entered.
The party added, “We state that today’s ruling did not come to us, as a party, by surprise. However, it brings to an end the collaboration between Senator Magnus Abe and Governor Nyesom Wike to destabilise the APC in Rivers State.
“We recall the many overt and covert partnerships between Governor Wike and Senator Magnus Abe using the Rivers State Judiciary on this matter to scuttle the electoral fortunes of the APC in 2019. Today’s ruling is a culmination of such an evil collaboration.
“We further note that the grand rally staged today by Senator Magnus Abe was carefully planned and scheduled by both the Senator and Gov. Nyesom Wike to coincide with the Rivers State High Court judgment details of which they were already privy to.
“It was therefore not surprising when Senator Abe gleefully announced the exact ruling of the court on the rally rostrum just about when the judge was still reading his judgment in court.
“We wish to inform APC members and sympathisers of our great party in Rivers State and across Nigeria to remain calm as we are well prepared in anticipation of today’s ruling and have therefore done the needful.
“Despite aspects of the matter which are already before the Court of Appeal and the Nigerian Supreme Court, the lower court went ahead to decide on a matter that is being challenged at higher courts of the land. Indeed, our legal team is already finalising the paperwork to file an appeal on today’s judgment and stay of execution. There is absolutely no cause for alarm.
“Recall that nothing will happen to the Ojukaye-led State Executive Committee (EXCO) of the Party as it is further protected against any action from above by the Perpetual Injunction granted by Abuja High Court 14 presided over by His Lordship, Hon. Justice A. O. Musa on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 in which it granted an Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the National Chairman, His Excellency (Comrade) Adams Oshiomhole (1st and 2nd Defendants) from ‘tampering with the mandates of the elected Officials/Delegates elected at the 1st Defendant’s Ward, Local Government and State Congresses in Rivers State on May 19, 20 and 21, 2018 respectively, either by nullifying, removing or in any way refusing to give effect to the outcome of the said congresses or by purporting to conduct another congress in respect of Rivers State.”
“It is also important to emphasise that the entire 319 Wards and 23 LGAs EXCOs of the Party are, by implication, protected against the ruling by any court of coordinate jurisdiction with the Abuja High Court that granted the Ojukaye-led State Exco a Perpetual Injunction before today. We urge everyone to go about their duties without let.
“Again, it must be mentioned that if the entire collaboration between Senator Abe and Governor Wike on this matter is to nullify actions the party has taken recently relating to its mandate by seeking to invalidate the Ojukaye-led EXCO, such an exercise has failed. For example, the primaries so far conducted in Rivers State were done by the national executives or national leadership of the APC and not essentially by the Ojukaye-led EXCO in Rivers State and seeking to invalidate the Ojukaye-led EXCO cannot in anyway invalidate the primaries.
“We are urging our supporters not to lose sleep as appeal have been entered and stay of execution on the matter have been entered. We commend the Special Adviser to Gov. Wike on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwankaudu for his efforts at the court today in furtherance of the collabo between Senator Magnus Abe and the Rivers State Government. We also commend the judge for the “industry” put into the PROCESS.”