- Senator Magnus Abe has threatened to sue INEC if it recognises Tonye Cole as authentic APC governorship candidate
- Appeal Court had on Monday, February 4, granted stay of execution of judgement nullifying Rivers APC primaries
- Abe said the court judgement did not mean that Cole and those produced through the direct primaries already voided by the state high court should be fielded by the party
A factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in River state, Senator Magnus Abe, has threatened that he would sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if Tonye Dele Cole is recognised as the authentic candidate of the party for the forthcoming election.
Legit.ng regional reporter in Port Harcourt, Tony Ihunwo, Senator Magnus Abe said the electoral commission might use the interpretation of the stay execution granted the party by the Appeal Court to recognise Cole as the candidate.
Speaking on a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, Abe declared that APC secured a temporary reprieve at the Appeal Court to ensure that as a party it can contest the election.
He argued that the stay of execution Appeal Court granted APC is on score that it is the party that statutorily contests an election and that did not translate to mean that Tonye Cole and those produced through the direct primaries already voided by the state High Court should be fielded by the party.
"The Federal Court of Appeal grant a stay which was clearly in favour of APC. Mr Cole has his own application for a stay for himself. That order has not been granted.This is declaratory order not an executive order.
"People should not stretch the interpretation beyond what it is presupposes that the court does not speak English. If the court wanted to put people's name on the list, the court would have said so, and that order would have been served on INEC.
"As it stands, the only order that be granted on INEC is that of All Progressives Congress to contest election. The substantive case of who should be the candidates that arose from either direct or indirect primaries of the party is yet to determined," Senator Abe said.
On whether he was opened for discussion and negotiations on the way forward for the party, he said: "I am always ready for discussion but it should be based on mutual respect and not from a preconceived position. The party needs to talk because there is a lot of bad blood within the factions of the party."
He said that as it were, the only option left for the party is to adopt the candidates who emerged from the direct primaries where he claimed over 150,000 members participated and that the result is available to the party and all the constituted authorities like the INEC and the courts.
Senator Abe said the genesis of the problem was that minister of transportation and director-general of the presidential campaign, Rotimi Amaechi's decision that he should not be allowed to participate in the gubernatorial primaries, which he said is his right as a foundation member of the party in the state.
Asked if he would be forced to dump the party for another if the problems lingers and things don't work the way he feels, he said: "I think the question is insulting because APC promised change of doing things.
"Mr. President even said those who do not agree with the way decisions in the party are made are free to go to court. This is the only party that offers you that freedom, that is why I am in it to fight that the right thing be done."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt granted stay of execution of the lower court's judgement nullifying all primaries of the APC in Rivers state and restrained the INEC from fielding the party's candidates in the forthcoming general election.
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