A Special Appeal Panel set up by the President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, to handle the protracted legal tussle in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has struck out an appeal by the factional chairman of the party, Flag-Amachree Ojukaiye.
The panel, headed by Abubakar Yahaya, delivered the judgement on Wednesday at the Port-Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal.
The court also upheld the earlier high court judgment that APC in Rivers State has no ward, local government and state executives.
Delivering his judgement, the judge said the appeal against the High Court judgement on the party congress crisis lacked merit, adding that the application for joinder failed to observe the 14 days rules of appeal.
While delivering judgement on the substantive appeal number CA/PH/198 that bordered on the high court judgement, the panel ruled that the Ojukaye faction failed to seek leave of court before appealing against the judgement.
The judge also ruled that the judgement delivered at the lower court was a consent judgement, adding that the Ojukaye faction should have done the needful legally before approaching the court.
The panel had on Monday adjourned the matter to December 12 for moving of applications and responses.
Tonye Cole, the governorship flag bearer of the party in the state and other party officials who could be affected by the lower court’s ruling, also sought to join the matter which is an appeal against a Port Harcourt high court ruling.
The ruling delivered by the high court had set aside the processes and congresses that led to the emergence of the Ojukaiye-led executives of the party in the state. It was the Ojukaiye-led executives that conducted the congresses that produced Mr Cole as the APC governorship candidate.
Following the APC’s decision to proceed with primaries in the state despite the order against its earlier congress, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the court on October 10 declared null and void, the nomination of Mr Cole as the governorship candidate of the APC on grounds that Mr Abe’s supporters were excluded from the party congress.
The court also nullified the Rivers State APC Senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly primaries conducted on the premise of the illegal ward congresses.
The high court further nullified all the elections of Rivers APC Ward Executives, Local Government Executives and State Executive Committees that arose from the illegal ward congresses.