Rivers APC primaries: S’Court fixes April 8, 11 to hear Abe, Tonye Cole, others appeals
The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned hearing in the four appeals on Rivers State All Progressive Congress(APC) primary election, for nomination of candidates for 2019 general election, until April 8 and 11.
The apex court adjourned hearing in the matter for various reasons, but mainly for the absence of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) counsel.
The appeals are; those of Sen. Magnus Abe against INEC and others, Mr Tonye Cole against Sen. Abe.
Others are the APC against the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and the APC seeking for consolidation on all the pending appeals.
Abe in his appeal, is praying the apex court to make a pronouncement on the authenticity of the direct and indirect primary elections by the APC, on Rivers nomination of candidates.
The appellant specifically wants the court to determine which of the two appeals is known to law and to be recognised by the INEC.
However, when the matter came up, Abe’s counsel, Mr Henry Bello, informed the court of his motion seeking to amend his appeal.
But the matter was stalled, due to the absence of the INEC’s counsel who was the first respondent.
Bello sought for order to stand down the matter to enable the arrival of the INEC’s counsel but the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mohammed Bello declined.
The acting CJN who presided over the matter ruled that the apex court does not stand down matters for anybody or group.
This therefore, prompted the CJN to adjourn hearing until April 8, for the parties to present their cases.
In the two other appeals by Mr Tonye Cole, a factional governorship candidate and APC, Mohammed adjourned hearing until April 11 to enable parties to file and exchange their processes.
The acting CJN who led a seven-man panel of the apex court also abridged time for the parties to file and exchange papers since pre-election matters are time bound.
In the fourth appeal by the APC seeking a consolidation of all existing appeals, relating to the primary election, the court adjourned hearing indefinitely for the party to regularise their processes.