LGA Polls: We will not participate in illegality — Rivers APC - Oasis Connect || No 1 Entertainment Blog

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

LGA Polls: We will not participate in illegality — Rivers APC




The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers says it will not participate in the alleged
illegality of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission’s (RSIEC) proposed
conduct of Local Government Councils Elections on June 16, 2018.
The Chairman of APC in Rivers, Chief Davies Ikanya, made the assertion at a news
conference on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
The RSIEC Chairman, Justice C. I. Uriri, had on March 13, informed stakeholders at a
meeting that the commission would conduct councils elections because it was worried
over the vacancies.
APC
Ikanya said that it was shocking for the RSIEC chairman to express worries that there
had not been local government elections in the state on the grounds that the law
abhours vacuum.
He said there was no vacuum in the leadership of the local government councils since
the term of office of the elected chairmen and councillors had not expired and was a
subject of litigation before the courts.
“Uriri, who served as a Judge of the High Court of Rivers should have known better
that there is no vacuum and advise the state government to stop putting Rivers in the
news for bad reasons.
“The local government leadership case is a subject of litigation before the Federal
High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in Suit No: PHC/PH/CS/84/2015,
Appeal Nos: CA/PH/338/2016 and SC/536/2016 respectively,’’ he said.
According to Ikanya, until the cases are decided by the courts, any action by RSIEC
and the Rivers Government on the subject matter is an affront to the rule of law.
“Based on this, the APC will not partake in the contempt and sacrilege of Gov. Nyesom
Wike and RSIEC over the local government elections in the state slated for June 16
because it’s an illegality,’’ he added.
The Rivers APC chairman said the RSIEC in 2015 issued a notice in accordance with
the RSIEC Law to the public and called on political parties wishing to sponsor
candidates to present their candidates.
He said the Rivers electoral umpire successfully conducted the Local Government
Council elections in the state on Dec. 23, 2015.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took an action by way of originating summons
against INEC, RSIEC, Governor of Rivers, Inspector-General of Police and the State
Security Service before the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Lambo Akanbi.
“The PDP also filed alongside the originating summons, a motion on notice on Dec.
27, 2015 for an order of mandatory injunction setting aside the LGA elections
conducted by INEC and RSIEC.
“Justice Akanbi delivered a ruling on July 9, 2015 in favour of the PDP and the elected
chairmen of the 22 LGAs filed an application before the Court of Appeal for leave to
appeal as interested parties.
“The leave was granted o June 20, 2016,’’ he said.
Ikanya said the APC and the 23 LGA chairmen had earlier approached the Federal High
Court to challenge their dissolution by Gov. Wike.
He said they also sought to be joined in the matter in a motion on notice filed on their
behalf on April 22, 2015 in Suit No: PHC/PH/CS/84/2015 as necessary parties.
“This is to enable them file and serve their counter affidavit in opposition to the motion
seeking to nullify that election.
“The motion also prayed for the trial court to stay its ruling to enable them file a
counter affidavit in opposition to the motion seeking to nullify their elections.
“Justice Akanbi, formerly of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court,
refused to fix it for hearing and did not even issue hearing notice to the 22 LGA
chairmen.
“Dissatisfied by the decision of the lower court, the 22 LG chairmen appealed to the
Court of Appeal where the Rivers governor filed an application for a stay of ruling on
the matter,’’ Ikanya said.
The APC chairman said the Court of Appeal, however, ruled against Wike and PDP
prompting their move to the Supreme Court.
“Delivering its ruling, the Supreme Court struck out the matter, dismissing the entire
prayer of Wike and Rivers PDP.
“The apex court ordered the Appeal Court to admit the elected 23 LG chairmen as
parties, so the Court of Appeal is expected to proceed with the matter and deliver
judgment,’’ he said.
Ikanya also said the constitutionality of the RSIEC Law 2018 was a subject of
litigation before the Federal High Court between APC and INEC & Ors. in Suit No: FHC/
PH/CS/13/2018.
“It is just but laughable that RSIEC as currently empanelled is engaging in a wild
goose chase of conducting an election which RSIEC as a party is aware that the
matter is subjudice.
“That is, the case is actively before the courts and, the belief is that, any words or acts
that are likely to influence the case could invite prosecution for contempt of court.
“The APC and the 22 LG chairmen will approach the Court of Appeal with these facts
and ensure that Wike and the PDP are not allowed to benefit from their brazen
impunity and lawlessness,’’ the chairman said.

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