Watch As UBA Police Officer Beat And Stab Aggrieved Customer
Nigerian police operatives/Photo: AFP

The entrance to the Rivers State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) in Port Harcourt has been blocked by a team of policemen on Thursday.

The policemen had apart from cordoning off INEC office, mounted a roadblock on the lane close to the commission.

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Concise News understands that the early morning blockade is due to the protest of members of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State over the exclusion of their candidates from the general election by court pronouncements.

The protesters are aggrieved over what they say is selective obedience to Court judgement by the electoral body, claiming that a Stay of Execution had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Concise News had reported that the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by the APC against the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt barring the party from presenting candidates in Rivers State for the general elections.

It was learned that there are three other pending appeals on the controversial primaries of the party in Rivers State.

The 22 party members led by Ibrahim Umar, are opposed to the emergence of Tony Cole as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.

Delivering the lead ruling of the five-man bench of the apex court on the APC’s appeal on Tuesday, Justice Amir Sanusi said the preliminary objection by the respondents was meritorious.

Justice Sanusi said that the apex court’s reasons for striking out the suit would be given at a date to be communicated to parties to the suit.

Meanwhile, the five-man bench heard three appeals which were consolidated earlier on Tuesday.

Recall that the appeal was filed against the judgment in a suit filed by one Ibrahim Umar and 21 others challenging the primary election that produced Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of the APC.

The group loyal to Senator Magnus Abbe claimed the primary that produced Cole and others were done in disobedience to an order of the court.

Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour fixed the date for the judgment after taking arguments from counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), 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 because the court lacked the jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought by the respondents.

According to him, the judgement of the court is a nullity since the trial court has no jurisdiction.

Specifically, he asked the apex court to invoke Section 22 of its Act and give a final judgment on the substantive matter.

But countering the position, Bello urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal of the APC.

He submitted that by the decision of the apex court on February 8, 2019, upholding the decision of the Federal High Court barring the APC from conducting primary elections, the case had become spent.

He argued that section 87(9) of the Electoral Act conferred jurisdiction on the trial court.

The five-member panel led by Justice Rhodes-Vivour said judgment would be given today while the reasons for the judgment would be given at a later date.