Rivers poll: Supreme Court strikes out APC, Tonye Cole’s three appeals
By Kenneth Atavti
The Supreme Court on Thursday struck out three appeals filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Patrick Cole and members of his faction of the party, against the judgment that excluded the APC from fielding candidates in the last elections in Rivers State.
A seven-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, held that three appeals were defective, incompetent and could not be heard by the court.
The appeals are: SC/295/ 2019 filed by APC, with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed among respondents; SC/266/2019 filed by APC, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents and SC/267/2019 filed by Tonye Patrick Cole, with Magnus Abe and others as respondents.
Justice Muhammad, in the first ruling delivered on SC/295/2019, upheld that argument by PDP’s lawyer, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) to the effect that the notice of appeal filed by the APC was defective.
The judge noted that rather than heading a portion of the notice of appeals “Reliefs sought from the Supreme Court,” it was wrongly headed “Reliefs sought from the Court of Appeal.”
He said the implication of that error was that the appellant did not seek any relief from the Supreme Court, and thereby contravened the court’s rules, a development that rendered the appeal incompetent.
The same errors were noticed in the other two appeals, which made the appellants’ lawyers, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) and Tuduru Ede to withdrew both appeals, following which the court struck them out.