…Technical setback on Dawari, Odili matters temporary
By Nuel Suji
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has dismissed claim that its petitions before various tribunals at Abuja are on the verge of being thrown out on
grounds of technicality, blaming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the claim.
The party stated in a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Mr Chris Finebone, in Port Harcourt that the delay witnessed is temporary.
Clarifying issues surrounding the petitions, the APC explained: “This is sequel to the ruling Tuesday by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in the matters of Dr Dawari George and Mr Lucky Odili of Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Federal Constituency respectively.
“Both men had filed petitions challenging the victory of Hon. Boma Goodhead of Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency and Prince Nnam Obi of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Federal Constituency. But the Tribunal ruled that the APC revised notice for conduct of Primaries was not within the stipulated 21 days.
“Since this development, the PDP and their agents have inundated the media claiming that all other APC candidates’ petitions will be affected by the technicality of time.
“The APC feels obliged to explain for the benefit of our members and Nigerians that there is no atom of truth in the assertions by our opponents regarding this matter. The truth remains that the APC National Headquarters issued notice for conduct of party primaries on 19th September, 2014 which is more than the 21 days required by law.
However, due to certain circumstances, the APC, out of courtesy, sent a revised notice to the INEC informing the electoral umpire of a slight change in its primaries schedule to which the INEC acknowledged receipt. All of the actions eventually happened within the period
specified by INEC in its timetable.
“However, it appears curious to the APC that the Tribunal sitting on the matters of Hon. Dawari George and Hon. Lucky Odili would base its decision on a revised notice that might as well not have been written, to technically set aside the petitions of both APC candidates.
However, both candidates have promptly appealed the Tribunal ruling and we believe justice will be served the candidates and the party accordingly.
“It is rather shocking that the PDP and their agents have started bandying that the rulings on Dr. Dawari George and Hon. Lucky Odili also affect all other APC petitions before different tribunals. That is a white lie meant to distract and misinform the public.
“The APC would like to re-assure its members and Nigerians that the said revised notice of primaries has no consequential effects on all other petitions by APC candidates at all levels, be it the House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives and Senatorial petitions presently being heard at the different tribunals.
“We would like to urge APC members to remain steadfast and prayerful as victory at the various tribunals is around the corner,” it said.