MON, FEBRUARY 04 2019-theG&BJournal- Cole Campaign Organisation say they received with profound satisfaction the news of the landmark decision reached by the Court of Appeal presided over by his Lordship, Justice Ali Gumel, JCA.
Ogbonna Nwuke, Spokesman, Cole/Giadom Campaign Organisation in a statement today said, “The Court in its wisdom stayed the execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court which had stood between the APC and its right to participate in the forthcoming general elections in Rivers State.”
The statement reads: “Recall that Governor Nyesom Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party had dragged the Gubernatorial Candidate of the APC, Pastor Tonye Cole and other candidates of the party to the Federal High Court.
“In what was obviously an attempt to deny the Rivers people of their right to choose in an election year, the PDP and its leadership in the most bizarre manner moved to foreclose the participation of the APC in the electoral process.
“We are therefore elated by the ruling of the Court of Appeal which has responsibly removed all legal encumbrances that were hindering the progress of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State
“A statement by the decision of the Court of Appeal has proved beyond reasonable doubt that justice can only be delayed, but not denied. It has similarly justified the legal axiom which says that those who come to equity must do so with clean hands.
“We wish to place on record that the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Tonye Cole who invested so much hope in the judiciary does not consider the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal as a victory only for the APC.
“Our position is that the landmark decision which opens the way for the APC to participate in the electoral process is an act of God, a victory both for democracy, the people and the judiciary.
“The judiciary in any democracy is the last hope of the common man. What has happened in our case is evidence of the fact that despite the turbulence that the institution is facing at this time, ordinary Nigerians still stand a fair chance of securing justice.
We must not fail to appreciate the political sagacity of our Gubernatorial Candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole who attended court most of the time and inspired members of the party by his conduct and humility.
“In so doing, Cole has demonstrated that he is a leader who can be trusted; a dependable leader who has the capacity to lead in times of peace and times of great adversity.
“While we urge our teeming supporters to gird their loins for the good fight that is ahead, it is our prayer that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would do the needful by reinstating the names of candidates of the APC on the list of those who have been cleared for the elections.
“Similarly, it is our considered opinion that INEC would take steps to provide a level playing field by giving the APC a fair chance to campaign, given the time lost as a result of the actions of persons who have proved to be interlopers.
“The APC in Rivers State has been a victim of a conspiracy of the worst kind. By the grace of God, the evil plans of those behind the plot has collapsed.
“It is our thinking that as an unbiased umpire, INEC would take necessary steps to bridge the gap between the APC and other parties which have been on the campaign trail.
“Finally, we wish to thank our members for their patience and commitment. They have exhibited qualities that we are proud of in spite of acts of provocation. We also want to commend the judiciary for dispensing justice without fear or favour.
“The Rivers people will never forget the courage displayed by their Lordships led by Justice Ali Gumel, who despite pressure brought by the actions of our adversaries, have ruled dispassionately in favour of the law.”
In a related development, the Rivers State Chapter of APC said the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt today granting Stay of Execution on the Judgment of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court which nullified all Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has vindicated the party.
According to a statement signed by APC’s Spokesman, Senibo Chris Finebone said, “the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt today (Monday, 4th of February, 2019) has granted Stay of Execution on the Judgment of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court which nullified all Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from fielding the Party’s Candidates in the forthcoming 2019 elections.”
The statement reads: “We have always said that the wheel of justice may grind slowly, sometimes annoyingly slowly, but surely justice comes ultimately. We believe that today’s judgment has vindicated APC in Rivers State.
“Now, anyone who has carefully and painstakingly followed our pending matter at the Supreme Court, especially, during the last sitting before the apex court reserved ruling, will easily and safely conclude that our victory at the Supreme Court is only a matter of time. The key issues of REPRESENTATION and JURISDICTION which Justice Chiwendu Nworgu deliberately overlooked in tailoring his judgment to fit into a predetermined purpose, and yet bandy it as a CONSENT judgment, will be completely deconstructed by the excellent legal minds on the Supreme Court bench. In this particular case, the end will justify our dogged efforts as we shall, once again, prevail by God’s grace!
“All Rivers APC faithful should remain resolute as we are set to recover all that Satan has battled so hard to take away from us.
“INEC, by today’s Appeal Court ruling, should by now be reinstating our candidates’ names on the ballot in line with the status quo before the pronouncement by the federal high court of Justice Omotosho.”
Reacting to today’s Appeal Court judgment granting the stay of execution and placing all APC candidates back on the ballot, the Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate Tonye Patrick Cole said, “I just want to take a minute to thank the Almighty God for his grace upon us all. I know without Him, this would be totally impossible. We were up against it. We still are but our God who has been with us throughout this journey will see us to the end.
“I want to spare a thought for the brave judges and the entire judiciary for simply standing firm on the side of justice. We have faith in you. To all our supporters and leaders in the APC, I want to say a big thank you for keeping the faith. The times have been tough – I know, but you have showed that with God, we are already winners.
“To my Rivers people, fear not. Nothing good comes easy. This is but one giant step to the promised land.
“We have taken immediate steps to serve INEC by tomorrow with the ruling which will see APC back on the ballot box in time for the elections.