There are indications that the Rivets State chapter of the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate have filed an appeal against the nullification of all its primary elections and sacking of the candidates.
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt and presided over by Justice E.A Obile had nullified all APC primaries and all its candidates for the 2023 elections in the state.
But the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 elections, Tonye Cole, has maintained a studied silence over the matter.
However, speculations that Cole had filed an appeal were rife Friday afternoon but no official of the party had confirmed.
A statement circulating on social media and reposted by a chieftain of the party, Chukwuemeka Eze, suggests that an appeal has been filed.
The statement read, “Rivers State All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, has filed an appeal against the ruling nullifying the APC primary conducted in Rivers State by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
“On October 25, 2022, the Federal High court in Port Harcourt in its decision, ruled in favor of the claimant, George Orlu and four other persons who claimed to have been unlawfully excluded from participating in the All Progressive People’s Governorship primary election.
“This led to the nullification of the APC primaries, disqualifying Tonye Cole and Innocent Barikor as candidates in the 2023 gubernatorial elections of Rivers State.
“However, Tonye Cole maintains his unwavering regard for the judicial process and has thus appealed the ruling to cancel the APC primaries in Rivers State.
“He cited the claimant’s request to nullify the election as self-serving and cowardly on the basis that, none of them were registered members of the party when they filed the case in court.
“In the meantime, he urges all APC members and supporters in Rivers State to remain calm, steadfast and focused, as their win is guaranteed. He assures them that their names are still on the ballot and will remain so during the 2023 elections.”
When contacted, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Darlington Nwauju, said he was yet to get the suit number of the appeal but promised to get back to our correspondent as soon as he got it.
But Chief Eze confirmed that an appeal had been filed in a statement.
The statement read further, “It is painful to learn that despite very clear and convincing evidence led by the party to establish that plaintiffs are not members of the party, the trial judge agreed with the claimants.
“The Judge came to his judgment even when the register of the APC members filed with the Independent National Electoral Commission was exhibited to show that they were not members of the APC.
“The trial court, in its wisdom, ignored all the evidence adduced and found for the plaintiffs who are neither members of the party nor aspirants to any of the primaries conducted by the APC.”