The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately enlist its candidates in Zamfara state for the general election which begins on Saturday in compliance with the judgement of the Sokoto division of the Court of Appeal.
The court had dismissed an appeal against the judgement of the High Court of Zamfara state ordering the commission to accept the list of candidates presented to it by the party.
National Legal Adviser of the party, Babatunde Ogala told newsmen after a meeting between the Deputy National Chairman, South, Otumba Niyi Adebayo the Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari and his Ekiti state counterpart, Kayode Fayemi that even if INEC was right in obeying only the pronouncement of the Federal High Court in Abuja which made no order, there is a judgement of a superior court now which the commission must obey.
Ogala said “We all know the tragerary of the Zamfara matter where despite having a positive order of court asking INEC to accept the list of our candidates from a properly held, conducted, supervised and observed primary by INEC, it still said, in its opinion because there was a conflicting order of court of coordinate jurisdiction refused to accept our candidates.
“Let me emphasis that the court in Abuja did not make any order. The only order was from the High Court in Zamfara. Some people in their wisdom, appealed the decision of the High Court in Gusau. That is the matter that now went on appeal and the Court of Appeal in Sokoto has now dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Zamfara state High Court which upheld that the APC had a legitimate primary and that INEC should accept the list of our candidates.
“Let us assume, though not conceding that INEC was right in saying it had two conflicting orders of court of coordinate jurisdiction and choose to accept the one that made no order as against the one that had a positive order, now we have a judgement of a higher court which has now affirmed the decision of the Zamfara state High Court compelling INEC to accept our list of candidates and we are hopeful that INEC will comply with the order of court and have our candidates on the ballot.”
Asked if the party planned to hold any meeting with INEC on the issue, Ogala said “there is nothing like having to meet with INEC. What we owe who was a respondent in the matter is to forward a copy of the judgement of the Court of Appeal to INEC even though they are already aware, so that they will reflect the names of our already submitted candidates on the ballot for the elections”
Also speaking, Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari said the people of the state were grateful to God for the judgement, stressing that INEC should follow the part of honour and obey the judgement of the court of Appeal.
Yari said “I give thanks to God in whose infinite mercies, this judgement came up. If the judgement had been to the contrary, it would have been different. But the Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgement of the High Court. You know what that means. We are happy with the outcome and we are here to work with the party to convey the enrollment order to INEC and to ensure that they comply with the order.
“Even if the two judgments from the high court were conflicting, we now have the judgement of a superior court and we except INEC to comply and now follow the part of anarchy or go against the laws of the land. So, we believe strongly that INEC will comply.“
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