The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday, February 7, 2019, declared that the judgment of the Court of Appeal ordering stay of execution of the High Court judgement which disqualified the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, from fielding candidates for the 2019 General Elections in Rivers State, was of no effect on the decision of the Commission which complied with the judgment of the High Court. The INEC decision was subsequently strengthened by the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday, February 8, 2019, which maintained that APC cannot present any candidate for the elections in Rivers State.
INEC had on Thursday responded to the judgement of stay of execution order by a Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, had in a media interaction in Abuja, insisted that the Commission has not taken a new decision regarding the issue in Rivers State. He had declared that until the Commission decides otherwise, the APC will not field candidates in the state.
“What the commission has done is that it has taken a position in relation to the issue of Rivers. If anything changes we will meet as a commission and also take a decision.
“But we have taken a decision relating to the issue of Rivers and if anything changes before we take our final decision, the commission will meet and also take a decision; but we have not taken any other decision and we have not repealed our position on the issue of Rivers,” Okoye had declared.
The State High Court had earlier nullified APC’s congresses, saying they were conducted in outright violation of subsisting court orders.