From Tony John, Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has cancelled All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in the state.
The court gave the decision yesterday in a suit brought before it by some aggrieved members of the party who had during the primaries of the party lamented exclusion.
During the APC primaries, some members of the party had alleged exclusion and protested at the state secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt.
Meanwhile, One George Orlu and four others who claimed to have bought nomination forms had approached the court requesting that the primaries of APC in Rivers be nullified following their alleged exclusion in the process.
The court, in its decision, ruled that the persons were unlawfully excluded from the primaries.
In his ruling, Justice EA Obile held that the aggrieved persons were shut out of the primaries unlawfully, adding that the process amounted to nullity.
Obile agreed with the plaintiffs (Orlu and others) that they were wrongly excluded in the process to participate in the party primaries.
He ruled that all those elected from the process (primary) were nullified and should not be recognized as candidates.
Reacting, state spokesman for APC, Darlington Nwauju, said the verdict was a matter within the domestic jurisdiction of the party and a travesty of justice.
Nwauju stated: “Supreme Court has decided on a plethora of cases suggesting that political parties are their own CEOs and can regulate their own internal affairs.
“The subject matter for which Justice E.A. Obile granted the relief of plaintiffs to nullify the congresses of our party is entirely an internal party affair. Therefore, it’s a travesty of justice as far as we are concerned
Secondly, the persons who went to court against our party are now members of the ADP and, therefore, meddlesome interlopers in our internal affairs.
“We do believe firmly that the appellate court shall treat the matter dispassionately and deliver justice in this matter because this is not an action against the primaries of our party, but an attempt at challenging the composition of our delegate list.
“We assure Rivers people that the attempt to rehash the 2019 episode in Rivers State is already dead on arrival.”