Court nullifies 12 Rivers ADC, ADP assembly nominations

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The nomination of 12 House of Assembly candidates put forth by the African Democratic Congress and Action Democratic Party in Rivers State has been overturned by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

This came about because Justice Turaki Mohammed, the presiding court, agreed with the Peoples Democratic Party that the party had broken the electoral act during its primaries.

Recall that the PDP sued 12 ADC candidates for the House of Assembly for violating the new Electoral Act.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed stated that the INEC lacked the legal authority to announce and accept the nomination of the seven ADC candidates since the party had disregarded the requirements of the new electoral act.
ADC’s lawyer, Benibo, told newsmen that the legal team will study the judgment and decide whether to go on an appeal.

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“I think he (Judge) found out that the party did not state the kind of election they were going into. Whether it was a direct, indirect, or a consensus.

“Five survived, seven of them were knocked out. Maybe we are going to appeal it because since the information was given to INEC, they know the kind of election that should have been held.

“But we will go back in free, sit and study my lord’s judgment critically. If we see that there is a need for us to go on appeal, we may.

“But it is subject to what the party will decide,” he said.

On his part, one of the lawyers to the PDP, Dike Udenna, said some of the affected parties’ primaries were not monitored by the INEC.

“The court came to the conclusion that some of the primary elections conducted by the ADC for the nomination of House of Assembly candidates were improper.
“It is either you do direct, indirect or consensus. Any other mode of conduct of primary is unlawful. So, on that account, the court has nullified the nomination.

The constituencies where the ADC will not be fielding candidates are Tai, Onelga, Etche and Ahoada.

Similarly, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has invalidated five House of Assembly candidates of the Action Democratic Party in the state over the party’s non-compliance with the new electoral act.

Recall that the PDP in the state took ten House of Assembly candidates of ADP to court for not complying with the new electoral act.

When the matter came up for judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Turaki Muhammed, said the PDP was able to prove to the court that five of the ADP House of Assembly candidates’ primary were not monitored by INEC as such remains invalidated.

Our correspondent reported that Justice Muhammed, however, said it cannot nullify the five other ADP candidates because the PDP did not provide enough evidence to determine that the primaries were held outside the constituencies.

The affected constituencies that will not field candidates are Emohua, Eleme, Bonny, Omuma, and Oyigbo.

While in Asari Toru Constituency 1 and 2 as well as Port Harcourt Constituency 1, 2 and 3, the ADP candidates were not invalidated.

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A PDP lawyer, Udenna, told journalists that the court has proven that the PDP have a case and that the invalidation of some state Assembly hopefuls had shown that the party did not comply with the electoral act.

The state ADP chairman, Christian Kendrick, said in the coming days, they will come up with their next line of action after consulting with their lawyers.

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