It’s worthy of note that the State High Court has already delivered
its reasoned verdict in the substantive matter nullifying the
congresses of 19th, 20th and 21st of May, 2018. The court also
invoked its inherent powers to make consequential order by
voiding all the indirect primaries conducted by Rivers APC. The
Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and House of
Assembly indirect primaries were all voided. That was on the 10th
of October, 2018.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria caused a great stir in the country
when twelve days later, precisely on the 22 of October, 2018, a
panel of the justices of the apex court overruled the Court of
Appeal on the stay of execution of the order of interlocutory
Injunction, accusing the lower court of gross judicial
insubordination. The apex court said that APC cannot benefit from
its stupidity of disobeying valid court orders. The pronouncement
of the Supreme Court reinforced and gave eternal legal validity to
both the Orders of Interlocutory and Mandatory Injunctions issued
by the High Court and the substantive judgement of the trial court.
That development has made some political pundits to say that the
Rivers APC cannot field candidates in the 2019 elections. That
proposition, without prejudice to those making it, is preposterous
Indeed, there is absolutely no legal encumbrance in the way of
Rivers APC from fielding candidates in the 2019 elections.
Recall that the NWC of the APC gave latitude to the legally
constituted State Chapters of the party across the nation to
request mode of primaries that will be suitable in their different
states. Also recall that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, at the last
NEC meeting of the party said that due to the legal complexities in
Rivers APC, the party would conduct Direct Primaries in Rivers
Do not forget that at the time the Ojukaye faction through a memo
requested for indirect primaries in Rivers APC, the Ojukaye crew
had no standing in law to so do because a valid court order
already nullified the congresses that brought him in and he was
already acting in disobedience and contempt of that order.
In the eyes of the law therefore, the Ojukaye exco did not exist as
the State Working Committee of the party and couldn’t have
summoned any State Executive Committee of the party in Rivers
State to request for indirect primaries. The Supreme Court by its
judgement has validated both the injunction stopping the party
from conducting further congresses in Rivers State and the
Mandatory Order nullifying the congresses that brought in Ojukaye
and his midnight crew in the state and across the 319 wards. It
follows that Ojukaye did not call any meeting that requested for
Indirect primaries because he simply did not exist in law.
Note that the Prince Peter Odike led APC in Rivers State which is
the only legally established State Working Committee going by the
court order which sanctioned status quo correctly convened a
State Executive Committee of the party and requested the NWC,
through a memo, to grant Direct Primaries in Rivers State.
Direct Primaries in furtherance of that memo to the NWC were
conducted in Rivers State for the Governorship, Senate, House of
Reps and House of Assembly elections and candidates who won
were duly announced. The Direct Primaries were observed by all
organs of state legally mandated to observe such exercise.
The candidates of the APC in Rivers State who won Direct
Primaries in the different categories of election are therefore the
candidates of the party in the 2019 elections. There is absolutely
no vacuum and no lacuna. Every field was well covered.
All the results of the Direct Primaries are already with the National
Working Committee of the party and all they need to do is to adopt
them and submit the names of the candidates who won in the
primaries to INEC. Those are the candidates that can legally stand
elections in Rivers State in 2019.