Eight Zamfara APC governorship aspirants reject Yari’s appeal

Eight governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State have faulted the move by Governor Abdulaziz Yari to enforce the judgement of the state High Court concerning the APC candidates’ tussle.

The aspirants, under the umbrella of G-8, said a novice application filed last Friday by Yari seeking the interim enforcement of the judgement of the state court on the tussle was strange to the law.

The aspirants are Senator Kabir Marafa; the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakala; a former governor of the state, Aliyu Shinkafi; the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali;   Aminu Jaji; Abu Magaji;  Dauda Lawal and Mohammed Hamidu.

They called for the urgent intervention of the National Judicial Council in the matter.

The aspirants purchased the APC governorship forms for the 2019 general elections but the eight formed the G-8 following the crisis that trailed the party’s primaries in the state.

A Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto had adjourned the appeal on the candidates tussle to February 19, 2019, for hearing and abridged the time for the parties to file briefs.

Two judgments were delivered on Friday, January 25th on the matter.

A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in Abuja held that the Independent National Electoral Commission acted within its powers by refusing to accept a list of candidates from a faction of the APC in Zamfara State.

The second judgement was delivered by Justice Muhammad Shinkafi of the High Court in Gusau, Zamfara State.

Shinkafi affirmed that primaries were conducted and requested INEC to accept the candidates produced from the primaries.

After studying the two judgments, INEC decided to maintain its earlier position on the matter.

Marafa and Jaji had separately filed notices of appeal against the judgment of the Zamfara State High Court.

The records of Jaji’s appeal were transmitted to the Court of Appeal, Sokoto division, on February 7, 2019.

It was gathered that immediately the record was transmitted by the appellant in the appeal, text messages were sent by the Court of Appeal registry to all counsel in the appeal to come to court on Friday, February 8, 2019.

While at the court on February 8, the appellant’s counsel sought to know why counsel were invited to come to court since records were only transmitted a day before.

Counsel were informed that it was a pre-election matter which must be disposed of expeditiously.

The counsel for the appellant, however, told the court that there was no urgency in the matter, adding that the judgement that was appealed against did not exclude anybody from participating in the elections.

The G-8 statement read in part, “It remains to be seen what course justice will take in the matter, especially in view of the decision reached by the Supreme Court on Friday, February 8, 2019, affirming that INEC was right to take a position not to allow the APC to field any candidate for violation of the conduct of party primaries in the state.”