Court sacks Tonye Cole as Rivers APC governorship candidate over dual citizenship

Court sacks Tonye Cole as Rivers APC governorship candidate over dual citizenship.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has disqualified the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, over dual citizenship.

The court on Thursday, November 24, 2022, also ruled that the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act that brought in Cole as the candidate of the party.

Tonye Cole who is a son of a former renowned Nigerian journalist and politician is said to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State had approached the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission not to recognize Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of APC for alleged dual citizenship and that the the delegate election that brought him did not follow due process having not been monitored by INEC.

Justice Emmanuel Obile in his judgment agreed with the People’s Democratic Party that Tonye Cole is not eligible to contest governorship position.

He thereafter directed INEC to delist the name of Tonye Cole from the list of eligible candidates for the 2023 Governorship election.

The decision of the court is however contrary to it’s earlier ruling on a preliminary objection in a suit by the APC against the PDP and it’s Governorship candidate Siminialaye Fubara.

In that suit, Justice Obile had ruled that the no party has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other political parties and also said that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain that case.