The All Progressives Congress (APC) has vowed that it will not participate in the forthcoming June 16, 2018 Local Government Areas (LGAs) elections in Rivers State.
The state chapter of the party said in a statement following its press conference in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday that it “Will not partake in the contempt and sacrilege of Governor Nyesom Wike and the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC)”.
The statement signed by the state party chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, read in part:
“It is very shocking for the chairman and Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Rivers State Independent National Electoral Commission (RSIEC) Justice C. I. Uriri to express worries that for some time now, there has not been a local government election in the state, adding that the law abhors vacuum.
“For the records there is no vacuum in the leadership of our LGAs since the term of office of the elected LGA Chairmen and Councillors has not expired and the matter is a subject of litigation before the courts in Nigeria. Justice C. I. Uriri, who served as a judge of the High Court of Rivers State should have known better that there is no vacuum and accordingly advise his appointor – Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON) – to stop putting Rivers State on the news for the bad reasons.
“The issue about the leadership of the LGAs is a matter before the courts of the land and for a retired judge to claim that there is vacuum is not only unprofessional but smacks of bias and this calls to question his independence to head such a hallowed institution as RISIEC.
“For the records – Justice C. I. Uriri and RSIEC should note the case of the leadership of the LGAs is a subject of litigation before the Federal High Court (FHC), Court of Appeal (CA) and the Supreme Court (SC) in Suit No: PHC/PH/CS/84/2015, Appeal No: CA/PH/338/2016 and Appeal No: SC/536/2016 respectively and that until the cases are decided by the courts any action by RSIEC and the Rivers State Government on the subject matter is an affront to the rule of law and that the APC will not partake in this illegality.
“You can all recall that RSIEC issued out notice in accordance with the RSIEC Law to the public and called on political parties wishing to sponsor candidates to present their candidates and the local government council elections held in Rivers State on 23/05/2015. That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the political party of governor of Rivers State – Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON) – took out an action by way of originating summons against the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), RSIEC, Governor of Rivers State, Inspector General of Police and State Security Service before the FHC Presided over by Justice Lambo Akanbi. The PDP in addition to the originating summons filed alongside the originating summons a motion on notice filed on 27/05/2015 for an order of mandatory injunction setting aside the local government elections conducted by INEC and RSIEC on 23/5/15. That Justice Lambo Akanbi delivered a ruling on 09/07/2015 in favour of the PDP and the elected chairmen of the APC and the 23 LGAs filed an application before the CA for leave to appeal as interested parties. Leave was granted on 20/06/16.”
The party added that it was important to note that the APC and the 23 LGA chairmen had approached the Federal High Court to challenge their dissolution by Governor Wike and be joined in the matter in a motion on notice filed on their behalf on the 22/04/15 in Suit No: PHC/PH/CS/84/2015 “as necessary parties and to enable them file and serve their counter affidavit in opposition to the motion seeking to nullify that election.”
Among other things, the APC argued that “the constitutionality of the RSIEC Law 2018 is a subject of litigation before the Federal High Court between APC v. INEC & Ors. in Suit No: FHC/PH/CS/13/2018” adding that “it is just but laughable that RSIEC as currently empanelled is engaging in a wild goose chase of conducting an election which RSIEC as a party is aware that the matter is sub judice, that is, the case is actively before the courts and, the belief is that, any words or acts that are likely to influence the case could invite prosecution for contempt of court.”
The party went further to say that as a law abiding party, that it will along the 23 LGA chairmen approach the “CA with these facts and ensure that Governor Wike and the PDP are not allowed to benefit for their brazen impunity and lawlessness.”
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