Rivers APC sues INEC chairman to court over exclusion

The Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) and its governorship candidate Tonye Cole have sued the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for contempt.

The party said that the INEC Boss allegedly refused to obey an Appeal Court order of stay of execution.

Tonye Cole Campaign Organization’s Director of Strategic Communications, Prince Tonye Princewill said in a statement in Abuja that the INEC boss has already been served contempt proceedings to come and explain to the court why he has refused to comply with the order of court.

Princewill said a delegation from the APC in Rivers state has served contempt proceedings on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission for not being independent enough.

According to him, Yakubu is to appear in court to explain why he should not be sent to jail for disobeying subsisting court orders and excluding APC in Rivers state.

He said “proceedings were served yesterday because INEC has shown us that it is no longer independent. How else can you explain the speed they acted after a judgement by Justice Omotosho that said we should not only be removed from the ballot, but we should also be barred from campaigning? People should learn to fear God.

“Now that same Justice Omotosho order has been stayed, yet two weeks later, we’re still waiting for our rights to be restored and INEC is comfortable that. To make matters worse, the Supreme Court last week threw out the appeal against the stay judgement. So what is still holding INEC? They cannot exclude us. But if they do, they will face the legal consequences. We can either do this election once or they will conduct it twice. The law is on our side.”

He commended Rivers people for showing restraint and implored them to come out and vote as who becomes President is who determines the leaders in the state, saying “do not be distracted by INEC. If they do not put us on the ballot, that election will be repeated. It will not be an election. But the Presidential is not in doubt. All states must put in their quota towards victory. That includes us too here in Rivers state.

It will be recalled that despite several pleas and multiple court orders, INEC has continued to stay mute on the matter of Rivers state, offering no details as to why the numerous judgements in favour of the APC have not been abided by, whereas judgements in favour of the PDP are more readily attended to.

It appears that forces unseen have an interest in not seeing APC in Rivers state thrive.

This no doubt is not the end of the matter.