The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has set aside two Federal High court judgments that invalidated the nominations of Action Democratic Party (ADP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) State House of Assembly candidates in Rivers State.
The court, in a unanimous judgment by a three-man panel of justices led by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, granted the prayers of the appellants who are ADP and ADC.
According to the judgment which was read by Justice Kolawole, said the lower court ordinarily should not have entertained the suit, insisting that the two political party candidates for the position of the State House of Assembly were validly nominated and could participate in the forthcoming general elections.
Recall that the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Turaki Mohammed had in his judgment invalidated the nomination of five state House of Assembly candidates of the ADP and seven ADC House of Assembly candidates after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State dragged them to court over none compliance with the new electoral act.
The court of Appeals, however, in her judgment, reinstated these affected constituencies, noting that ADP will field candidates from Emohua, Eleme, Bonny, Omuma, and Oyigbo State House of Assembly.
Reacting to the court judgment, one of the lawyers to PDP, Dike Udenna, said they will study the judgment to advise his client on the next step to take.
“Until we get the copies of the judgment then we will be in a position to advise our client accordingly.
So we have applied and we are waiting hopefully to get the judgment in the next couple of days.
I am not able to confirm that because what they read was the introduction and then the conclusion.
So nobody was able to say what the reason was,” he said.
While counsel to ADP, Donald Otogbo explained that: “What the Court of Appeal decided is that the PDP does not have the locus or right to challenge the nominees of other political parties because they are nonparticipants in other parties’ electoral or primary processes.
They do not have the right to challenge the way and manner other parties’ primaries were conducted, that proceedings filed at the lower court, that they ought not to have done in the first place.
However, the chairman of ADP in Rivers State, Christian Kendrick described the judgment as a win for Rivers people, saying the judge has confirmed that democracy is at work in the State.
“The judgement is not just for our party.
We are reassured that the court alone is the only hope for the common man.
It is a win for democracy,” he said.