On Monday, 58 gubernatorial candidates in Rivers State opted to back Governor Nyesom Wike, and Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
On Tuesday, the ego trip between Minister of Transportion and Director-General of President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and fellow party man, Senator Magnus Abe, arrived its final bus stop with the Supreme Court endorsing the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Riverz State election on March 2.
In effect, except there is a force majeure, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, will run the State for another four years.
The apex court struck out an appeal filed by Rivers APC challenging the judgment of a High Court in Port Harcourt which barred the party from conducting any primaries in the state to nominate candidates to represent the party in the forth coming election.
Ruling on a preliminary objection raised by the respondents, Ibrahim Umah and 22 other aggrieved members of the APC, Justice Aliyu Sanusi, in a lead and unanimous judgement, said there was substance in the objection raised by the respondent and struck out the appeal.
Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour fixed the date for Tuesday’s judgment after taking arguments from counsel for appellant, APC, Lateef 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 claimed 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, Mr. 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 that 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 today while reasons for the judgment will be given later.