Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Uncertainty Over Zamfara Elections As Court Of Appeal Nullifies APC Primaries

 Image result for Zamfara election
There is uncertainty over the verdict of the Appeal Court Decision  as to  whether it should forfeit the victory the All Progressive Congress (APC)  got at the just concluded 2019 general elections for the Zamfara state governorship, National Assembly members and other state houses of Assemblies to the opposition Peoples Democratic party as a result of the court of Appeal judgment  in Sokoto which nullifies the party’s primaries

The verdict came two weeks after the party’s candidate, Mukhtar Shehu, was declared a winner. It set aside the judgment delivered by a Zamfara High Court, which had allowed the APC to field candidates in the elections.

Senator Kabiru Marafa, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and 129 others filed the appeal through their counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr Mike Ozhekome.

Delivering the lead judgment, which was adopted by two other justices, Tijjani Abubakar and Jamilu Tukur, yesterday, Justice Yakubu held that the lower court failed to properly evaluate the evidence before it. He said judges have the legal power to produce judgment and reach decisions with reason. He regretted that in this case, that was not done.

“I hereby set aside the judgment of the lower court, which allowed the party to field candidates in the last general elections. I believe this will serve as a very bitter lesson for political parties to learn. They must abide by the provisions of the electoral act, which provides a level playing ground for all aspirants,” he declared.

But Zamfara state governor,  His Excellency, the executive governor Abdullahi Yari  in a statement made available  to newsmen through his media adviser  Ibrahim Dosara  think otherwise, accordingly, he believes what the court of appeal did was setting aside the judgments by the Zamfara state high court on the ground of “EXAMINATION OF PROOFS OF EVIDENCE.” This has nothing to do with our elections.
“Those circulating the rumours are doing so to cause mayhem in our state to satisfy the ego of their masters. You may recall that they have been doing so to mislead the public.
“However, unlike the rumours now awash all social media platforms that the Court of Appeal Sokoto division has nullified our elections, it is not true. The statement is incorrect.
“The court has not in any way tempered with our elections, as the only tribunal has the right to listen to issues arising from election matters.
“Again, the court of appeal Sokoto division has not in any way tampered with the processes of the primary elections. It only faulted the examination of the proofs of evidence.
“Furthermore, the processes of filing the appeal were done after the expiration of the period within which to do so.
Meanwhile, the Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose hailed the judgment, saying: “Hope appears not lost for democracy in Nigeria after all.” He urged INEC to demonstrate courage by presenting certificates of return to PDP candidates in the state.

Speaking through his aide, Lere Olayinka, he said: “This is a great victory for democracy. It is a sign that all hope is not lost. When parties in government behave as if they are a law unto themselves, forgetting that the country is bigger than all of us, the judiciary becomes the only saviour.”

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