The All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost the bid to reverse the judgement barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from fielding candidates seeking elective positions in Rivers State.

Earlier on Tuesday, Justice Amiru Sanusi had struck out the appeal by the APC in the suit marked SC/1333/2018.

In another judgment, the Supreme Court struck out the three other appeals filed by the two Rivers APC factions challenging the ruling by a Rivers High Court that barred INEC from recognising candidates from Rivers in the elections.

At the sitting of a five-man panel led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour on Tuesday, the Supreme Court struck out the three remaining appeals filed by the APC, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree and Tonye Patrick Cole, challenging the court’s decision.

According to the court, the appeals were filed outside the time allowed under Section 285(9) and (12) of the Constitution as amended by the 4th Alteration Act.

Reading the ruling of the court, Justice Amina Augie, said the appellants were not parties to the original suit were not allowed by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, to appeal the October 10, 2018 judgment, because they filed their appeal out of the required time.

In the suit marked SC/81/2019 (another appeal filed by APC), SC/1332/2018 (by Ojukaye Flag-Amchree) and SC/1334/2018 (by Tonye Cole and others), Augie noted that the appeals are statute-barred.

The ruling comes as big blow to Tonye Cole, who, asides other candidates, had been expectng INEC to officially recognise him as the APC governorship candidate after the ruling, evidenced by how his supporters went into wild jubilation scenes right from the court premises.

 

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