The petition filed by the Rivers chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, contesting the eligibility of candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC to participate in the 2023 election in the state was dismissed on Wednesday by Justice Turaki Mohammed of Federal High Court 5, Port Harcourt.
Candidates for the APC National Assembly seat in Rivers were challenged by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which said that the party’s primaries leading up to their election were not in compliance with the 2021 Electoral Act.
However, the case is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
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Justice Mohammed, in a brief ruling that lasted less than five minutes, ruled that the decisions of the Court of Appeal on the matter are binding on him and provide sufficient reasons to strike out the lawsuit.
The interfering Plaintiffs were not made to pay any of the associated costs.
No political party, including the current administration, has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of another political party, including the process by which the latter selects its candidates.
The Court of Appeals added that no lower court can accept or decide such a case.
The other lawsuits brought by the PDP in Rivers State to prevent opposition party candidates from running in the next elections are doomed to fail in light of this ruling.
“The plan contrived by Rivers PDP to deny APC participation in 2023 election and the right by field candidates thereby deprive Rivers people of their constitutional freedom of choice to elect their representatives has collapsed,” said Sogbeye C. Eli, the APC Spokesman, in response to the ruling.
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