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Court sacks Tonye Cole as APC guber candidate in Rivers

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.As A/Court reinstates Binani as APC candidate in Adamawa


Court sacks Tonye Cole as APC guber candidate in Rivers

.As A/Court reinstates Binani as APC candidate in Adamawa


A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, disqualified the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, over dual citizenship.


Tonye Cole is said to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.


The court also ruled that the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act that brought in Cole as the candidate of the party.


The Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State had approached the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission not to recognize Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of APC for alleged dual citizenship and that the delegate election that brought him did not follow due process having not been monitored by INEC.


Justice Emmanuel Obile in his judgment agreed with the People’s Democratic Party that Tonye Cole is not eligible to contest governorship position.


He thereafter directed INEC to delist the name of Tonye Cole from the list of eligible candidates for the 2023 Governorship election.


The decision of the court is however contrary to it’s earlier ruling on a preliminary objection in a suit by the APC against the PDP and it’s Governorship candidate Siminialaye Fubara.


In that suit, Justice Obile had ruled that the no party has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other political parties and also said that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain that case.


Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsels to the PDP, Dike Udenna expressed happiness over the judgment which he said means that APC has no governorship candidate for the 2023 General election.


On his part, counsel to the APC, Collins Dike said the APC will challenge the judgement at the Court of Appeal.


He said the constitution of Nigeria allows him to contest the Governorship election having been born in Nigeria.


The lawyer said Tonye Cole “voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom” which does not prevent him taking part in the election.


Menwhile, the Court of Appeal, Yola Division, on Thursday, overturned the ruling of the Federal High Court annulling Aishatu Ahmed (aka Binani), as the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate for Adamawa State.


The Court of Appeal, presided over by Justices T. Y. Hassan, M. O. Bolaji and J. G Abundaga, upheld Binani as APC governorship candidate.


The court, in its ruling, also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to include Binani’s name on the list of gubernatorial candidates in the 2023 general elections.


The Federal High Court in Yola, Adamawa State, had on October 13 nullified the candidature of Binani as the governorship candidate of the APC in the state.





Based on suit FHC/YL/CS/12/2022 filed by a governorship aspirant, Nuhu Ribadu, the court declared Binani’s candidature invalid and unlawful.


The court, however, refused to order a fresh APC governorship primary in the state.


Dissatisfied by the court ruling, Ribadu filed an appeal in suit no. CA/YL/203/2022 between him and the APC and two others.



However, the court in its ruling on Thursday dismissed the appeal but allowed Binani’s appeal seeking to overturn the judgement given by the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdulaaziz Anka.


Counsel for the APC, Sule J. Abdul, applauded the ruling as a plus for democracy, adding that the court relied on technicalities.


“I believe the issues have been resolved in favour of the appellants, the APC and also the APC candidate, Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed,” Abdul added.


Counsel for Binani, Tomisin Ologunorisa, appreciated the justices of the Court of Appeal for arriving at the judgement which he said had made it possible for Binani to reap the benefit of her mission.


There was, however, a mild drama after the court verdict as journalists, who waited to hear the response of Ribadu’s counsel, learnt he had sneaked out of the court.


Meanwhile, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, on Thursday, expressed delight at the court’s decision.


She promised to lead other women to ensure Binani’s victory.


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