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SUPREME COURT SET APRIL 4 FOR RIVER APC PRIMARIES APPEAL

 

The Supreme Court has adjourned till April 4 to hear all pending appeals relating to the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

A seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad fixed the date for hearing on all the various appeals after addressing some preliminary issues on the appeals.

The appeals are SC/ 1972019 filed by Senator Magnus Abe and some others, with APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed as the respondents; SC 295/ 20019 filed by APC, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) listed among the respondents.

Other appeals are SC 266 filed by APC with Senator Abe and others as respondents and SC/267/2019 filed by Mr Tonye Cole with Senator Abe and 48 others as respondents.

The court granted the motion by the APC, represented by Mr Jibrin Okutepa for permission to merge the different respondents’ briefs, earlier filed by the second to the thirty-fifth respondents, into a single brief.

But it rejected a similar motion filed by the appellants’ lawyer, Henry Bello, for leave permission to amend the notice of appeal on grounds that Mr Bello failed to attach the old notice of appeal to the motion, as required.

The apex court ordered appellants to file their reply to the respondents’ brief of argument within 48 hours.

The three appeals were adjourned till April 4 to allow the formal service of hearing notices and all other processes on INEC, which was not represented in court.

Senator Abe, a factional leader of the APC in Rivers, is praying the apex court to make a final pronouncement on the legality of both direct and indirect primary polls conducted by the two factions of the party in 2018.

The motion dated March 1 was predicated on eight grounds and affidavit of urgency among which was that the matter, being a pre-election suit, must by law be fully determined within 60 days.

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