ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, disqualified Tony Cole as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Rivers State.
Tony Cole was sacked over dual citizenship. He is said to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Also, the court ruled that the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act that brought in Cole as the candidate of the party.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State had approached the court to direct the INEC not to recognize Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of APC for alleged dual citizenship and that the the delegate election that brought him did not follow due process having not been monitored by INEC.
In his judgment, Justice Emmanuel Obile agreed with the PDP that Tonye Cole is not eligible to contest governorship position in the state.
He thereafter directed INEC to delist the name of Tonye Cole from the list of eligible candidates for the 2023 Governorship election.
The decision of the court is however contrary to it’s earlier ruling on a preliminary objection in a suit by the APC against the PDP and it’s Governorship candidate Siminialaye Fubara, Daily Post reports.
In that suit, Justice Obile had ruled that no party has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other political parties, adding that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain that case.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsels to the PDP, Dike Udenna expressed happiness over the judgment which he said means that APC has no governorship candidate for the 2023 General election.
On his part also, counsel to the APC, Collins Dike said the APC will challenge the judgement at the Court of Appeal.
Dike said the constitution of Nigeria allows him to contest the Governorship election having been born in Nigeria.
The lawyer said Tonye Cole “voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom” which does not prevent him taking part in the election.