–ASSURES VICTORY FOR RIVERS PEOPLE
Thursday 1st of November, 2018 turned out to be a day filled with incensed emotions as National Working Committee-NWC of All Progressives Congress-APC came out with controversial statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC ), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in an attempt to settle the political imbroglio in Rivers state chapter of APC since the commencement of active political engagement in the state culminating in the purported emergence of Tonye Dele Cole as Governorship candidate, a product of Indirect Governorship Primaries on the side of dethroned Chairman Ojukaiye Flag Amachree and Senator Magnus Ngei Abe also emerging through a Direct Governorship Primaries wherein he stated that “in view of the conflicting interpretations that greeted the recent verdict of the Supreme Court on the contentions among our members in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), it has become necessary to clarify that the Supreme Court verdict has nothing to do with the primaries conducted for the governorship and legislative positions in the state”
On Friday the 2nd of November, 2018 the Tonye Dele supporters began a dance of pyrrhic victory with Church Thanksgiving Service organized at Port Harcourt and its environs giving misrepresentation to the judgment of the Supreme Court’s pronouncement on Stay of Execution of the Justice Chinwendu Nworgu’s earlier Interlocutory Injunction made on 11th of May, 2018 at a Port Harcourt High Court.
Reacting on the forced jubilation of Tonye Cole’s supporters Senator Magnus Abe’s followers in a published Press Release said “It is most unfortunate that the National Publicity Secretary of the ALL Progressives Congress (APC) has allowed himself to be sucked into the current battle of supremacy between a faction of the APC in Rivers state and the Nigerian Judiciary.
“First, there is no conflicting interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment, as the judgment of the Supreme Court was clear and unambiguous. In simple English, the court stated clearly that the party was bound to obey the Orders of the Port Harcourt High Court per Nworgu J. The court further stated that the APC having acted in gross disobedience of the Orders of the High court, they should expect no relief from any court including the court of appeal. The Supreme Court chided the court of Appeal in very strong terms for availing its powers to the APC, when the party was clearly in contempt of the orders of Nworgu J. The Supreme Court then proceeded to restore all the Orders of the High Court, in effect invalidating the congresses that produced the delegates that produced the candidates. The Order restored by the Supreme Court was the Order of the High Court prohibiting the APC from proceeding with the congresses.
“There is no interpretation needed to understand the fact that the Supreme Court of Nigeria has stated clearly those congresses did not hold in Rivers state. How does that not affect the indirect primaries in which delegates from the voided congresses voted to produce the candidates? More shocking to all lovers of justice in Nigeria is the fact that while the statement made copious references to the Supreme Court Judgment, (because it claims that it did not nullify the primaries) the statement made no reference whatsoever to the High Court judgment of Nworgu J which clearly nullified the APC primaries.
The judgment of Nworgu J was served on the party by a court bailiff for whom there is an affidavit of service. Yet no reference was made to this judgment in the statement of the National publicity secretary. This is clearly a case of the party choosing which judgment to interpret and which judgment to disobey.
The Judgment of Nworgu J made an order expressly cancelling the indirect primaries of the Rivers State APC, and until that Judgment is set aside that remains the position of the law in Nigeria. No statement can restore the candidates except another judgment from a superior court.
The Origin of the present crisis between the Judiciary and a faction of the APC in Rivers state arose out of the penchant of the erstwhile State Publicity Secretary of the party to set aside court orders by public statements on national television. That did not work. The current attempt by the National Publicity Secretary to set aside a judgment of the court by this public statement will equally fail.
Members of the APC in Rivers State will recollect that prior to the botched State congresses, an expanded state executive committee of the party was summoned by the then State Chairman, Chief Ibiamu Ikanya on the 2nd of May 2018.
At that meeting we all agreed on a formula to conduct the congresses of our party in an all inclusive manner. Chief Ikanya based on consensus reached at that meeting set up a technical committee made up of members from every divide to work out details of harmonization. The arrival of the Minister of Transportation brought an end to the effort at reconciliation and harmony. The Congress was moved to INTELS camp in Port Harcourt, and those not perceived as loyal to the Minister were unceremoniously excluded.
It was this move that forced Ibrahim Umar and others to approach the courts. The case was initially filed in the Bori Division and transferred to Chief Judge of the state where it fortuitously landed in the court of Nworgu J. Every Order made by the Judge to give the aggrieved members an opportunity to participate in the congresses was interpreted and overruled by the State Publicity Secretary of the party on national television. Indeed a physical attack was sponsored on the court premises to forcefully shut it down and prevent the State High Court from sitting on this matter.
This was a golden opportunity, lost by the APC as the party of change to distance itself from the culture of disrespect for the courts and continuously setting aside and ignoring court Orders and judgments on national television, the very acts that the Supreme Court condemned in such strong terms.
This morning I have sent a copy of the affidavit of service of the Judgment of Nworgu J to the National Publicity Secretary.
Let me again assure members of the APC in Rivers state that the party conducted direct primaries in Rivers state, where over one hundred and forty eight thousand members of our party voted, those elected there from are the only legal candidates for the APC in the 2019 elections in Rivers state.
There is a valid judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction that annulled the indirect primaries clearly and unambiguously and requires no interpretation. We stand on that judgment. Members of the APC in Rivers state should remain calm; our determination to seek justice and ensure that the wishes of our party members are respected is not in any way affected by this statement. Our struggle will continue until justice is done.
At the appointed time the God of justice will surely speak and every voice of injustice and oppression shall be silent.”
Going by the intense political situation in All Progressives Congress-APC in Rivers state www.towncrier.ng uncovered that there is palpable fear that the leader of the party in Rivers state Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi instead he is found exacerbating the crisis by being a supporter of Tonye Dele Cole and does not play the role of a true leader who ought to have laid an enabling playground for all sides in the divide to unite irrespective of whatever ambition each camp may advance with. Reacting further a chieftain of APC in Rivers state of Comrade Peter Odike led authentic State Secretariat told www.towncrier.ng that “The proponent of the failed stand of the NWC of APC are yet to tell Nigerians that the supreme court judgment actually confirmed the earlier nullification of Ojukaye’s exco from the congresses of May 19, 20 & 21st, 2018 respectively and that High court judgment also nullified all the candidates that came through the faulty delegates. But because of ego NWC must have disobeyed the courts to satisfy someone. Time will tell. Magnus Abe – will be Rivers Governor, come 2019.Let me take this opportunity to advice our unrepentant supporters of Senator Abe that what the NWC has done is to justify the nocturnal agreement reached with some powerful persons.
I tell you with certainty that the ongoing charade will come to naught, therefore a complete waste of time. No body or Organization can disobey the decision of a competent court of the land.
In view of the judgment of the High Court as delivered by an eminent justice of the court and further reinforced by the Apex court, therefore any act of disobedience or contrary act comes with grave consequences. I am sure what is happening is a case of the piper dancing the tune of the payer. The music will soon be over and the reality will set in. That reality Is Senator Magnus Abe”.
Read Also: Senator Magnus Abe Remains Rivers State APC Valid Governorship Candidate In 2019 General Elections
Irrespective of the killjoy jubilation in the camp of Minister of Transportation and his alleged trawler like Pseudo Governorship candidate Architect Tonye Dele Cole, from www.towncrier.ng investigations FREEDOM HOUSE camp along Evo Road GRA Phase 2 Port Harcourt has remained a lively place where Rivers state ordinary citizens have found faith and reliance on the Supreme power of awesome Being who delivered Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2007 while the then leadership of PDP at Abuja pronounced k-Leg in his Governorship bid which the Supreme Court in its October 25th, 2007 delivered a Landmark judgment that shook the legal architecture of Nigeria and beyond and it is now a reference case in Nigerian Judiciary for believers of Freedom from the oppressed like Senator Magnus Ngei Abe is re-enacting the whole melo-drama that took place from December 2006 to October 25th in 2007 in the legal tussle that divided politicians in Rivers state then and the healing has not actually been wholesome. This is because the characters in that struggle are now splinters in the current effort Senator Magnus Abe is making to give Rivers state an independent service devoid of godfather which Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is arrogating to himself by nominating Architect Tonye Dele Cole as APC as pseudo Governorship candidate who he must have calculated that with Federal might he will emerge the next executive Governor of Rivers state in 2019.But the hand of God is tilting towards Senator Magnus Abe through the judiciary whose pronouncements has remained consistent with dispensation of justice to the Just.