More trouble for APC as INEC fails to shift ground, insists party will not participate in Rivers election
- The Independent National Electoral Commission has insisted not to shift ground on the possibility of All Progressives Congress participating in Rivers election
- INEC officer, Festus Okoye, made the statement, adding that the commission is following the directives of the Rivers court
- He, however, said the commission can only shift ground if there is a contrary judgment from the higher court
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through its officer, Festus Okoye, has insisted that the ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) will not take part in the forthcoming elections in Rivers state come February 2019.
The insistence is sequel to the final list released by the electoral umpire in which the name of the ruling party was omitted, with INEC saying it was acting on the decision of the court, Channels TV reports.
Speaking on the shocking development, Legit.ng gathers that the INEC commissioner, Festus Okoye, attributed the decision to the court verdict which stopped the commission from recognising the Rivers APC candidate as crisis continues to rock the party in the state.
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He said: "The Independent National Electoral Commission acts on the basis of existing facts.
“The facts on the ground as of today is that the Federal High Court Porthacourt judicial division, delivered two judgements and said that the APC will not participate in the elections and that the logo of the APC or any of the candidates of the APC will not appear on the ballot papers on election day and INEC has fully complied with this particular directive."
The INEC officer also said the decision of INEC can only be reversed provided there was a contrary judgement from the upper court before the election.
Giving hints on the commission's readiness for the forthcoming polls, Okoye said INEC does not intend to postpone election in any party of the country as every plan has been mapped out in the electoral umpire's calendar.
He said: "If anything arises as we proceed towards the 2019 elections, we will deal with that particular eventuality.
“But as at today, the reality is that the APC will not participate in the elections, the elections will go on and it won’t be postponed.
“The PDP forwarded the name of a candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the political party. INEC accepted the name of that candidate.
"During the period of substitution, the candidate was not substituted, therefore, the candidate’s name will appear on the ballot on election day.
“The only basis for the removal of any candidate from the list as at today is death. We have released the final list for presidential and National Assembly elections and there wouldn’t be any change anymore.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that court of appeal sitting in Port Harcourt had again affirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not have a governorship, National Assembly or state legislature candidates in Rivers state ahead of the general elections.
The appeal court therefore struck out an application filed by a faction of the party loyal to the transportation minister, Chibuike Amaechi, which sought to challenge the judgment of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers state high court annulling the party’s wards, local governments and state congresses.
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