THE Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has stayed the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, barring the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State from contesting the 2019 general election, this time in the case between the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and APC.

The three man panel Appeal Court led by Justice A. Gumel said the ruling, yesterday, was informed by urgency of the matter, just as it rejected the application by Ferdinand Obi, SAN, counsel to the PDP, asking the Justices to withdraw from the matter.

The court insisted it would continue to hear the case since the President of the Court of Appeal was yet to respond to same request on discontinuity in a letter written by the PDP on the matter.

The Appeal Court, however, granted the application of the PDP counsel to withdraw from the matter on ground that further participation in the case would be of no benefit to his client.

The court adjourned till February 13, to hear pending motions on the matter after hearing applications in three appeals arising from the matter for which the PDP went to court asking that APC should not present candidates in the coming election.

The lower court had on the substantive matter, ruled in favour of the PDP.

The court also adjourned to today for ruling on the application brought by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, to be joined in the case between Tonye Cole and Senator Magnus Abe.

Reacting to the ruling, factional governorship flag bearer for Rivers APC, Mr Tonye Cole, through the Spokesman for his campaign organisation, Ogbonna Nwuke, urged Rivers people to be calm and focus on success of the APC in the coming elections.

“We are pleased that a sense of justice has prevailed in righting a clear injustice designed at depriving the electorate of the freedom to choose who they desire to lead them,” Cole said.

PDP through its Rivers Chairman, Felix Obuah, said: “The Appeal Court stay of execution does not in any way give the APC edge over PDP in the forthcoming elections.

Our advice is for them not to jubilation yet as the end result might be suicidal considering the plethora of cases before the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court respectively.”

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