APC reacts to Supreme Court judgment on Rivers
The National leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the Supreme Court judgment, which affirmed the nullification of the governorship primaries conducted by a faction of the Rivers state chapter of the party.
The apex court of five-man panel justices, led by Justice Mohammed Dattijo had on Friday described the party’s primaries in the State as fraught with irregularities.
The court insisted that Rivers State APC will not be presenting any candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and House of Assembly elections beginning Feb. 16th as against ruling of court of appeal which earlier on Monday ordered Independent National Electoral Commission to allow the party to field candidates.
But reacting to the judgment, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, while speaking with selected journalists at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, argued that the party deserves to field candidates in Rivers State, saying the party will look for other way that is legal to resolve it.
He said, “Our legal department is looking into the judgement of the Supreme Court. It is not the kind of judgement we looked forward to base on the facts that we are aware of. The only option before us now is to review this judgement and see what other means that is legal. We think we deserve to field candidates in Rivers state.”
Issa-Onilu wondered why APC is being scrutinised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after its primaries, saying it is not only the party that had issues surrounding the conduct of its primaries.
“We know we did the right thing. We had our primaries even though there are issues around it. I don’t know why it appears the APC is the only party that is being subjected to this kind of scrutiny from the electoral body.
“It is the same APC that PDP has continued to raise flags as being the party that wants to rig election and is supposed to be working in cahoots with INEC. If this is the way to work in cahoots with INEC, we need to ask further questions.
“We know what we did in Rivers compared to what PDP did in many of the thirty-six states. PDP shouldn’t field candidates in many states if the same parameters applied by the electoral body are applied to the PDP,” he said.
He, however, expressed confidence that the party’s legal team will review the outcome of the judgment and find legal way of solving the issue.
According to him, “Our legal department will review the outcome of this as unpalatable as it is and we will be able to say categorically the next step we might be taking and come out with it in due course.”