Rerun: Rivers PDP rejects candidate’s disqualification

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THE Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the disqualification of its candidate for the Akuku-Toru Constituency II rerun, Tonye Alalibo.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Tuesday stated that Alalibo was disqualified based on the judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

But the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Felix Obuah, rejected INEC’s explanation for Alalibo’s disqualification.

Obuah, who spoke through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Jerry Needam, said the election tribunal, appeal court and INEC had no powers to disqualify any candidate fielded by a political party.

He said the Electoral Act did not give INEC, the election tribunal and the appeal court the power to disqualify any candidate presented by a political party.

“No election petitions tribunal or appeal tribunal has the right to disqualify any candidate when the issue of disqualification was not part of the subject matter before both the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal. Accordingly, INEC lacks powers to disqualify the PDP candidate.

“Therefore, the purported disqualification of our candidate for Akuku-Toru Constituency II when the PDP logo was on the ballot paper and our candidate participated and won the election is preposterous.

“The so-called disqualification is the handiwork of the All Progressives Congress that is doing everything possible to grab power.”

Obuah also rejected the alleged ceding of result of the Opobo/Nkoro House of Assembly election to the APC, adding that the results collated from the polling units in all the wards had shown that Mr. Diri Adonye of the PDP was the winner.

Obuah, however, congratulated his party’s candidates, who emerged victorious following the results so far declared by INEC.

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