The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt has granted another interim stay of execution on the judgement of the Federal High Court barring the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers state from contesting the 2019 general elections, this time in the case between the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and APC.
The three man panel Appeal Court led by Justice A.A. Gumel said the decision was informed by urgency of the matter, just as it rejected the application by Ferdinand Obi (SAN), counsel to the PDP, asking the judges to discontinue themselves from the matter.
The court insisted it would continue to hear the case since the President of the Court of Appeal was yet to respond to same request on discontinuity in a letter written by the PDP on the matter.
The Appeal Court however granted the desire of the PDP counsel to withdraw from the matter on ground that further participation in the case would be of no benefit to his client.
The court fixed 13th February to hear pending motions on the matter after hearing applications in three appeals arising from the matter for which the PDP went to court asking that APC should not present candidates in the coming elections for which judgement a went the PDP favour at the Federal High Court.
The also adjourned to today (Thursday) for ruling on the application brought by the All Progressives Grand Alliance to be joined in the case between Tonye Cole and Sen. Magnus Abe.
As with the earlier stay of execution, Tonye Cole, governorship flag bearer for Rivers APC said through Spokesman for his campaign organisation, Ogbonna Nwuke, commended the court decision and urged Rivers people to be calm and focused on success of the APC in the coming elections.
“We are pleased that a sense of justice has prevailed in righting a clear injustice designed at depriving an electorate of the freedom to choose who they desire to lead”, Cole said.
PDP through its Rivers chairman, Felix Obuah, said through his Media Aide, Jerry Needam, that, “The Appeal Court Stay of Execution does not in any way give the APC edge over PDP in the forthcoming elections.
“It’s not yet unusual for APC. Our advice is for them not to jubilation yet as the end result might be suicidal considering the plethora of cases before the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court respectively.”