Court order forces Rivers State APC to cancel its congress

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The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has confirmed the cancellation of the ward, local government and state congresses slated for September 17, 21 and 28 respectively.

The State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chirs Finebone, said the congresses were put on hold as a result of the court order that restrained the party from holding the exercise. A Rivers State High Court had on Thursday last week ordered the party to refrain from conducting its ward, local and state congresses, pending the hearing and determination of a suit marked PHC/3098/19 filed by Ibrahim Umah and 22 others.

The interim injunction also ordered the state chapter of the APC (defendant in the suit) and the claimants (Ibrahim Umah and 22 others) to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the matter before the court, but speaking in an interview with Punch on Monday, Finebone explained that the congresses would not hold because the APC would not defy the court order.

“The congress for tomorrow will not hold. For whatever it is worth, you cannot defy that; you cannot defy the court order. Obviously, we are not holding the ward congress because of the court injunction. Also, you cannot hold the next congress (local government congress) without the first one.

“For the fact that you are compelled not to hold the first one, you cannot contemplate holding the second one because the second congress is dependent on the outcome of the first.

The court has issued an exparte injunction, which many of us have not even seen the prayers because we have not sighted the processes. But whatever it is will be addressed by our lawyers. Our lawyers will be in court and they will address the issue.

“The ward congress slated for Tuesday (today) cannot hold because that is the day the court adjourned to sit on the matter. Even if the court vacates the order that day, definitely, it (ward congress) cannot hold that day,” Finebone stressed.

He, however, explained that members of the party in the state were aware of the latest development, adding that the state APC was organized and would always take the right decision. He said, “When it comes to organisation, the APC in Rivers State is well organised and very often, I see our party here as more organised than the communist party of the entire old Soviet Union.”