Rivers 2019: Supreme Court set for final verdict

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday give judgment in the appeal filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the judgment delivered by a Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt which set aside the two primaries conducted by two factions of the party in Rivers state for the 2019 general election.

One of the factions is headed by Minister of Transportation Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and the other headed by a serving Senator Magnus Abe.

Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour fixed the date for the judgment after taking arguments from counsel for appellant Laeef Fagbemi and counsel for the respondents, Henry Bello.

While addressing the court, Fagbemi urged the Supreme Court to nullify the judgment of the federal high court in Port-Harcourt on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction when it entertained the suit.

He also said that since the trial court had no jurisdiction, its judgment in the matter amounted to a nullity and should be set aside.

Fagbemi specifically asked the Supreme Court to invoke section 22 of the Supreme Court act and give final judgment in the matter to end the multiple cases arising from the rivers state APC primary election.

However, in his own argument, counsel for the respondent, Henry Bello, urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal of the APC on the ground that it has become a mere academic in nature.

He submitted that by the decision of the apex court of February 8, 2019 which upheld the decision of the high court in Port-Harcourt and barred APC from conducting primary election, the case of APC had died and should be buried.

Bello told the court that the respondent led by Ibrahim Umar who were aggrieved by the violation of the Electoral Act and the 1999 constitution in the manner the APC conducted the primary election in Rivers,  had secured a consent judgment at the high court and that the
judgment still stands.

He urged the apex court to hold that the instant appeal has become academic exercise.

Justice Bode Rhodes who presided over the matter, however announced that judgment will be given Tuesday while reasons for the judgment will be given later.

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