NNPP, APC In Rivers Celebrate As Court Of Appeal Clears Candidates To Contest House Of Assembly Election In 2023

All the House of Assembly candidates of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, in Rivers State have been cleared by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt to participate in the 2023 general elections.

 

The Court of Appeal took the decision on Friday after hearing the NNPP in Suit No. CA/PH/540/2022. The Court also set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Turaki Mohammed in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to disqualify 14 House of Assembly candidates of the New Nigeria Peoples Party.

The  Appeal Court  ruled that the PDP lacked the locus standi to challenge the primary election of NNPP.  In the lead judgment delivered by Hon Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, the court agreed with the submission of the lawyer to NNPP, Monima E. Karibi-Whyte, that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first instance.

 

The court subsequently  directed INEC to enlist all the NNPP Rivers State House of Assembly candidates for the 2023 General elections.

In a related development, the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, had also, in a unanimous judgment delivered on January 5, 2023, on Appeal No. CA/PH/554/2022
(All Progressives Congress v. People’s Democratic Party & Ors) set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division in Suit No.: FHC/PH/CS/152/2022 on November 11, 2022 which disqualified 16 candidates for the Rivers State House of Assembly of the Appellant for the 2023 general elections.

Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party had, at the trial Court sought to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission from recognizing the candidates nominated by the All Progressives Congress on grounds of alleged non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in monitoring of the primary elections from which the said candidates emerged.

The Court of Appeal in her well considered judgment ruled that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit and consequently declared the decision which disqualified candidates of the Appellant a nullity.

In setting aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and allowing the appeal, it further held that the PDP had no locus standi to institute the action challenging the primary election of the Appellant in the first place.

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