A special Appeal panel sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Wednesday struck out the three appeal suits by factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Ojukaye Flag Amachree, on the October 10, 2018 judgement of a state High court over the outcome of the party’s congresses held last May.
Twenty-three aggrieved members of the party, who protested their exclusion from the party’s ward, local government and state congresses ahead of the party’s national congress held same May in Abuja, had approached the court to stop the perceived illegal exercise from taking place in the state.
The aggrieved persons, who allegedly purchased forms to contest for various position at the state but claimed to have been illegally excluded filed the suit under the name, Ibrahim Umar and 22 others verses the APC.
At the originating summon, the plaintiffs were granted their prayers as the High Court presided over by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu issued an order of injunction stopping the conduct of the congresses.
But the APC ignored the order and conducted the exercise, which later produced Amachree and others as the incumbent state party executives.
Amachree and others later conducted the September 31, 2018 state primary elections, which produced Arc. Tonye Dele Cole as its flag bearer.
However, the state High court in a judgement on October 10, on Ibrahim Umar and 23 others against APC voided the congresses that produced Amachree and all outcomes of the primary elections, including the election of Cole on the grounds of disobedience to the court order.
Amachree appealed the judgment and the Appeal court nullified the judgment.
Ibrahim Umar and 22 others moved to the Supreme Court, which voided the Appeal court decision and asked for a repeat.
In the process several other suits were filed before Appeal on the same suits.
The party, Umar and others requested for a special panel to hear the retrial and the President of the Appeal court constituted a three-man panel chaired by Justice Yahaya, which struck out the suit on Wednesday.
Yayaha said the appeal lacked competence in its entirety hence the dismissal.
He said the appeal against the Justice Chinwendu Nwogu High Court judgement on the party congress crisis lacks merit, adding that the application for joinder failed to observe the 14- day rules of Appeal.
On the substantive suit, the Judge said the ruling on the substantive appeal that bordered on Justice Nwogu’s judgement that the Ojukaye faction failed to seek leave of court before appealing against the judgement.
He ruled that the judgement delivered at the Lower Court was a consent judgement, adding the Ojukaye’s faction should have done the needful legally before approaching the court.
He said: “This matter is between one party. What is going to happen when it is between separate parties?
“In politics, we are brothers, same house and we are throwing stones on each other. Please let’s reconcile and settle this,” he advised.