January 20, 2023

Dual Citizenship: A-Court strikes out PDP’S suit against Tonye Cole

Tonye Cole



By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT

A Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has struck out a suit by the People’s Democratic Party against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Tonye Cole, challenging his credibility to contest the 2023 governorship election in the state.

The PDP had also in the suit against APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, claimed that the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act in fielding their guber candidate.

The Appeal court in the judgement that set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt over the alleged dual citizenship of Tonye Cole, described PDP as a meddlesome interloper.

The three-man panel of appeal in a unanimous judgment yesterday in Port Harcourt, said the PDP lacked the locus standi to challenge APC, it’s Governorship Candidate and INEC on the conduct of the congresses and primary election that brought in their candidate.

On the issue of dual citizenship, the appeal court in the judgment delivered by Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe on behalf of the led Judge, Justice Joseph Ikyegh said PDP lacked the legal standing to drag INEC to court in a pre-election matter.

Adegbehingbe noted that the earlier Supreme Court decision on the issue of citizenship on electoral matters is final.

Speaking on the judgement after the court sitting, one of the counsels for the APC, Chimenem Jerome, described the judgment as a water shield in Political jurisprudence.

Jerome said that the APC had always argued that PDP did not have the locus standi to interfere in the Internal affairs of the APC, adding that their line of argument has been proven by the appeal court.

Meanwhile, Dike Udenna, one of the legal representatives of PDP, said although every party has the right to appeal, that appealing the judgment at the apex court would be determined by the party.