Why Court Disqualified Rivers APC Gov’ship Candidate Tonye Cole

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, has disqualified the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tonye Cole.

Justice Emmanuel Obile gave the ruling on Thursday.

In May, Cole, a former executive director of Sahara Group, won the APC governorship ticket in Rivers state.

Cole had polled 986 votes to win the ticket and defeated Ojukai Flagamakere who got 190 votes, Sekonte Davies with 49 votes, Michael West got 43 votes, Benald Miku had two votes, and Magnus Abe who secured one vote.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers had approached the court with a suit seeking to disqualify the APC governorship candidate over allegations that the delegates that voted at the party’s primary were not qualified.

The development comes weeks after the same Federal High Court in Port Harcourt nullified the primaries conducted by the APC in Rivers.

A claimant, George Orlu, and four other persons identified as aspirants had filed a case before the court seeking nullification of the primaries over their alleged exclusion.

Obile, who was also the presiding judge on the matter, gave the ruling on the grounds that the plaintiffs were unlawfully excluded from the primary.

The court also ruled that those whose names were submitted as having been elected from the primaries should not be recognised as validly-elected candidates for the APC in the state.

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