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Court Disqualifies Rivers APC Governorship Candidate, Tonye Cole

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday disqualified the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole, in the state.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Obile, said Cole is not eligible to contest the governorship position.

The APC candidate is said to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.

 The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Cole of the APC, claiming that the delegates that voted at the primary election that brought in the candidate were not democratically elected.

According to the court, the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act that brought in Cole as the candidate of the party.

The PDP had asked the court to direct INEC not to recognize Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of APC for alleged dual citizenship and that the delegate election that brought him did not follow due process as it was not monitored by INEC.

On Thursday, Justice Obile directed INEC to delist the name of Tonye Cole from the list of eligible candidates for the 2023 Governorship election.

This is coming six months after Cole, a former executive director of Sahara Group, clinched the APC governorship ticket in the oil-rich state.

Cole polled 986 votes to win the ticket. He defeated Ojukai Flagamakere who got 190 votes, Sukonte Davids with 49 votes, Michael West got 43 votes, Benald Miku had two votes, and Magnus Abe who secured one vote.

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