A Court of Appeal sitting in Port – Harcourt has granted a stay of execution of the judgement of the Federal High Court nullifying all APC Primary in Rivers State and Restraining INEC from fielding candidates in the general elections.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Mohammed Mustapha said the stay of execution was neccessitated by the multiplicity of the appeals on the judgement.
He held that the matter was appealed by almost all the parties in the case, the judge said it would be unjust not to grant the stay to enable the party achieve their goals.
Lawyer to Tonye Cole’s Faction, Chimenem Gerum said they can now go ahead to campaign and contest the elections.
“By this ruling today, The All Progressives Congress, APC, in rivers and its candidates are free to participate in the election, they can go about their campaigns and go about everything that is lawful to be done to ensure that they are on the ballot and INEC should ensure that their names are brought back complete”.
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Meanwhile, Lawyer to Magnus Abe Group, Patrick luke said that the stay of execution does not hold water because one cannot stay what has been concluded by INEC, he said the court did not also direct INEC which did not file anything in court to include their names in the ballot papers to participate in the elections.
“Legally Speaking, You cannot order for a stay of execution of a completed act. The Jubilation they have is uncalled for because the act sought to be stay has been concluded, the court did not give any order to INEC to put back the names of all those that has been removed”.
Meanwhile a lawyer, Richard Wokocha said the stay of execution that was granted today has given candidates of the tonye cole faction of the apc the opportunity to continue with its campaign until the appeal court rules on the eligibility suit filled by the Magnus Abe faction.
He further said that the issue of the eligibility of the candidates is still pending but that today’s ruling has allowed those whose names where submitted earlier to INEC to participate in the Election until the eligibility suit is determined.
He also said that there names can now be included in the ballots.
“The stay of execution means that the orders made by the court should be suspended that is its application should be suspended. It means that they are returning to status quo as they were before that order was made.
So, they are justified in celebrating that their names are back on the ballot, for the moment until the court resolves the appeals that are before it.
Meanwhile Tonye Cole says he will resume his campaign to canvass for votes across Rivers State as soon as possible.
He said that he hopes that by tomorrow, INEC should start working towards restoring the names of all Rivers APC candidates back on the ballot.
He also expressed optimism that the internal rangling within the party will be settled to give the APC a clearer chance to win the 2019 elections.
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