Ruling On Tonye Cole’s Application Stalled …As Lawyers Disrupt Appeal Court Sitting Polycarp Nwaeke
With barely 24 hours to the publication of list of candidates by INEC for election into governorship and state legislators positions, there is apprehension as lawyers under the auspices of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Wednesday stormed the premises of Appeal Court Port Harcourt and stopped proceedings on the stay of execution application brought by Tonye Cole, of the All Peoples Congress (APC).
Cole had gone to the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of Justice Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt which barred him and other candidates of the APC from participating in the 2019 general elections and stopped INEC from recognizing or listing him and the APC for the elections.
Our correspondent reports that as soon as the case started, a coterie of lawyers led by the Chairman NBA, Rivers State, Sylvester Adaka, invaded the courtroom and halted proceedings.
The Vortex gathered that the lawyers’ action created confusion, with politicians who came to witness proceedings running helter-skelter.
Adaka, who spoke to judicial correspondents, said the lawyers were in the court in solidarity with the NBA who had asked members to sit at home because of the suspension of Justice Onnoghen.
He further said members of the NBA went to all the courts in Rivers State on Tuesday to make sure that the sit-at-home order was observed.
Arch. Tonye Cole and Hon Victoria Nyeche, the lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency I at the Rivers State House of Assembly deplored the lawyers’ action, saying it was unfortunate and uncalled for.
Security was beefed up at the Appeal Court premises following the incident as the matter had been adjourned to Thursday 31st January.