Indications emerged that the Zamfara Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, may after all participate in the forthcoming general elections in the State.
This came as the Zamfara State High Court 3 sitting in Gusau on Friday upheld the primary election conducted by the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Leadership reports.
Recall that on October 11, 2018 the state APC chapter filed a suit before the court praying it to compel the APC national headquarters and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept the primary election it conducted on October 7, 2018. The national headquarters of the APC had earlier declared that there was no primary election of the party in the state. Delivering the judgement, Justice Bello Shinkafi said his judgment was based on the evidences tendered before the court by various witnesses who were cross examined.
According to the judgement, the APC Zamfara State Chapter was qualified to field candidates to contest for the Governorship, National Assembly and the State House of Assembly elections. The judgement also ordered INEC and APC national headquarters to recognise the primary election held by the party in the state.
Reacting to the judgement, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari said the judgement was a victory over one of the rulings in the case instituted over the conduct of primaries by the state branch of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja, the governor thanked God for what he said was a prayer answered in their quest for justice. “You remember sometimes in October, we began the struggle over whether there was primaries or not in Zamfara State with INEC,” he said. “Even though we believed that we had undergone all the processes and today, God did it once again for us by giving us victory.
The court accepted that Zamfara APC conducted its primaries. “So, we are happy with the outcome and we thank the department of justice and the judges who stood their ground to ensure that justice is granted.” The governor said the judgement had not come late as many other cases remained in court even as the elections approach. According to the governor: “It is not too late. Some of us that were given opportunity or encouraged by the president to go and seek for justice, some of them are still in court.
This victory for today is not late. “I can tell you in the entire Nigeria, Zamfara is one of the states that APC is sure of 90 percent victory.” He affirmed that there were two positions enunciated by the Zamfara court judgement: “But let me also thank INEC because there are two conflicting statements, one national; one state. The state INEC went round and conducted and supervised the primaries as allowed by law.
Unfortunately the INEC at the national did not wait to receive the report of the Zamfara State INEC represented by the resident electoral commissioner (REC) and they went ahead to give the pronouncement.” Meanwhile, a federal high court in Abuja also yesterday held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) acted within its powers by refusing to accept list of candidates for the next general elections from a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State.
Justice Ojukwu, in the judgement on Friday, said it was not the fault of INEC that the APC failed to conduct a valid primary within the period scheduled by the electoral body. Ojukwu said INEC’s action was intended to curb impunity among political parties and politicians, and ensure that rule of law is adhered to. The judgment was on a suit filed in the name of APC by some individuals, who said they emerged from a consensus arrangement adopted by the party in Zamfara State.
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