After successfully victory at the court of appeal in Port Harcourt, candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Tonye Cole is asking the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to adjust its time table for elections in Rivers State, to allow him and other candidates of the party to campaign, considering the short time at their disposal.
The appellate court presided over by Mr Justice Mohammed Mustapha had, on Monday, granted the stay of execution request of Cole. This follows the judgement of Justice Kolowale Omotosho of the federal high court, which ordered INEC not to list any candidate of the APC on the ballot.
The first election is to hold on February 16, about 11 days from the day the appeal court granted the stay of execution. What this means is that candidates of the APC has less than two weeks to plan for the election.
Reacting to the court order, spokesman of the Tonye Cole campaign organisation, Ogbona Nwuke who described it as a welcome development also said there was still hope for the common man.
He said the APC had got candidates all along and that the court had merely confirmed the position. But then, he said the APC would be asking for an extension in time by shifting the election, to enable the APC prepare.
He said INEC would hopefully allow the party some more time to prepare for the election. According to him, the APC would be going back to the drawing board to know what to do.
But there was a dramatic twist to the judgement. While Cole and his people were rejoicing that they had secured victory, Senator Magnus Abe and his
group are also celebrating that with the court judgement which now allows the APC to field candidates in the election, the coast was now clear for Abe to face Nyesom Wike of the PDP.
Spokesman of the APC faction loyal to Abe, Mr Paul Osiago told TNN over the telephone that at this time, the concern was not about who had won-between the Amaechi and Abe faction-but that the APC was now sure of being part of the election.
Osaigo said Abe was now in a better position to contest the election as candidate of the APC, a position Cole is also laying claims to. There are other cases pending before the appeal court on the matter