Governorship aspirant for Rivers State, Tonye Cole has reacted to a ruling by the Supreme Court on Friday which held that Chinweikpe Chieme of the Senator Magnus Abe group of the APC is the legal representative of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the governor’s post in the state.
According to Daily Post, Cole responded, stating that he still remained hopeful for victory at the substantive suit on Monday.
Spokesman for the Tonye Cole/Giadom Campaign Organization, Ogbonna Nwuke had this to say in a statement released after the ruling:
Our attention has been drawn to reports which suggest that Ibrahim Umar and 22 others have secured a final determination at the Supreme Court.
The facts available to us are that the only issue determined today, Friday, 8th February 2019 was that of legal representation, which had been in contention.
Based on the various conflicting headlines being carried, it is critical to state that there are other pending matters, including the substantive appeal, which is yet to be determined by the Supreme Court.
Our faith in the judiciary remains unshaken. We wish to urge our numerous supporters not to panic, following the deliberate misrepresentation of facts on the social media and elsewhere regarding the outcome of today’s judgment. We shall surely be triumphant in the end.
The Rivers State chapter of the APC also released the following statement through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone;
The attention of Rivers State Chapter of All Progressive Congress APC) has been drawn to a myriad of reports making the rounds on the social media giving conflicting, and in some cases, outright mischievous narratives misinterpreting and misrepresenting the pronouncement of the Supreme Court today, Friday, February 8, 2019 on the matter between Ibrahim Umar & 22 Ors vs Rivers APC.
Whereas the APC is reluctant to join issues with anyone when it concerns matters before the court, however, we believe that the general public deserves to be protected from calculated mischief and misinformation especially those dispensed through the social media and rumors. Therefore, it has become highly necessary to re-state what transpired at the Supreme Court.
Today, the apex court ruled that, in line with provisions of the Constitution of the APC, the chapter legal adviser at the time the matter commenced, Mr. Chieme Chinweikpe, rightly represented the party directly or through legal appointees of his instead of Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN who was seconded by the legal department of national headquarters of APC. This means that the judgment given by Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was a consent judgment following thereto.
Irrespective of how we feel about the pronouncement, the Rivers State Chapter of APC has to accept that decision having come from the highest court of the land.
However, we make haste to state that the decision on legal representation was the only matter the Supreme Court made a pronouncement on today. We expect the apex court to rule on the all-important issue of jurisdiction of whether the State High Court of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu was right to delve into what we believe was an internal affair of the APC with regards to primaries.
We urge the mainstream media and innocent members of the public to resist the lure of mischievous individuals who are inundating the social media and entire cyberspace with jaundiced versions of today’s Supreme Court ruling or churning out outright fake news with a view to deceiving the public, deluding themselves with short-lived comfort and feathering their nests from their paymasters.
We are convinced that no harm has been done to the candidacy of our governorship candidate, Pastor Tonye Cole and the others. We believe that, by the grace of God, we shall triumph and ultimately be on the ballot for the 2019 elections.
We call on the teeming supporters of APC in Rivers State to remain calm as it will surely end in praise. All candidates of APC in Rivers State will be on the ballot and go ahead to win come February 16 and March 2, 2019.