Bayelsa: APC knows fate today as court rules on primaries


The Court of Appeal has reserved ruling on the order of a Sagbama High Court in Yenagoa stopping the All Progressives Congress (APC) from holding its Bayelsa State governorship primary elections using the direct method.

The Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo, confirmed that ruling on the matter had been reserved for today.

The APC has been battling to vacate the order which distorted its schedules for the primary poll. It shifted the primaries from August 29 to 31 citing logistic issues, but further postponed it indefinitely following the order stopping the planned use of direct method in conducting the internal poll.

An electoral committee headed by the Yobe State Governor, Mai-Mala Buni as Returning Officer, was already in Yenagoa at the weekend to conduct the primaries but decided otherwise after waiting in vain for a vacation of the order on Friday.

But a party source said everything was being done to vacate the order.

He said: “Everything is in motion to vacate the order on Monday (yesterday) or today. Surely the order will be vacated. We would have gone ahead to hold the primaries because based on the Electoral Act that injunction is illegal.

“Section 87(10) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, provides that nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general election or the thereof under this Act pending the determination of a suit.

“But the party doesn’t want any legal impediments to its primaries. It is only reasonable to counter the order since there is still time to do so. All we know is that the order will be voided and the primaries will be conducted within the stipulated time.”

Announcing the postponement, Secretary of the Electoral Committee, Senator Emmanuel Ocheja, described the APC as a law-abiding party with respect for its constitution and the laws of the land.

He said in a statement: “The APC is aware of conflicting orders from courts of equal jurisdiction on the Bayelsa governorship primary election. As a result of these conflicting orders, and following a meeting that Governor Mai-Mala Buni had with the aspirants and party stakeholders, it was resolved that the primary election should be postponed until the committee headed by the governor receives clear direction from the party headquarters on the matter.”

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