Magnus Abe, senator representing Rivers south-east, says it is untrue that the court of appeal has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to list candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) contesting the elections.
He said this while reacting to an order of stay of execution granted by the court of appeal sitting in Port Harcourt barring candidates of the APC from participating in the general election.
The faction of Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, had produced Tony Cole as its governorship candidate, while the other faction produced Abe as its candidate.
In January, the state high court had nullified the primary polls conducted by both factions and ordered INEC not to recognise any candidate of the party during the general election.
But on Monday, the appeal court granted a stay of execution.
In a statement issued by Parry Benson, Abe’s spokesman, the senator said the court did not order INEC to restore the names of candidates for all elective positions in the state.
He said what is required of the party is a “dispassionate review” of the issues in contention so that a clear and definite decision can be made on those to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming elections.
“The facts are simple and sacred. A faction of the party led by the Minister of Transportation and the DG of the Presidential Campaign conducted congresses and indirect primaries in clear and open violation of the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. This was done in the full glare of the entire country,” the statement read.
“What Nigerians are witnessing now is a desperate attempt to reverse the law to get the President to raise the hand of candidates that the law has said does not exist. The President’s decision to abide strictly to the correct legal position is the reason for the current pressure on the Judiciary.
“That issue is the subject of series of pending litigations before Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
“The main issue that must now agitate the minds of Nigerians is the position of the Supreme Court on the matter moving forward. Will the Supreme Court turn around to tell Nigerians that its former position on the consequences of disobedience to the orders of the courts no longer holds? Or can the court of appeal now overturn an existing judgment of the Supreme Court?
“The indirect primaries did not hold by law, but the APC conducted a valid, and lawful direct primaries that clearly puts the APC on the ballot without legal entanglements.
“Let me assure all lovers of justice that a change of the judges does not automatically translate into a change of the law. Therefore, we should all remain calm. The struggle for justice in the party will continue until victory is achieved.”