A lawyer representing Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara), Mike Ozekhome (SAN) on Thursday said the Court of Appeal in Sokoto did not make any order clearing the way for the APC to field candidates for elections in Zamfara state.
He said there was no legal basis for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to change its earlier position by acceding to the demands of the Attorney General of Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) to postpone the elections and allow APC to field candidates.
Ozekhome while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday said he had written letters to INEC and the AGF explaining what he called the “true facts” of what happened on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal in Sokoto.
He said what transpired at the appellate court on Wednesday was that the appellant, Aminu Sani Jaji, voluntarily withdrew and discontinued his appeal and it was accordingly dismissed by the court.
“There was never any ruling from the Court of Appeal permitting them (APC) to contest (in Zamfara). Rather, what the Court of Appeal said was that their (Governor Abdulaziz Yari’s group) motion asking to be allowed to contest had been over taken by event and was dismissed along with the discontinued and withdrawn appeal,” he said.
He added that the appellate court in Sokoto, after dismissing Jaji’s appeal following his voluntary withdrawal, added that the interlocutory motion filed the respondents (Governor Abdulaziz Yari’s group) to the appeal has been overtaken by events since the appeal upon which it was predicated has been dismissed.
The said interlocutory motion was seeking, amongst other, an order mandating INEC and other parties to give effect to the judgment of the Zamfara State High Court which held that INEC should recognise APC’s candidates for the governorship, National and State legislative houses’ elections.
In the letter to INEC, a copy of which was made available to journalists, Ozekhome said there “was total misrepresentation and suppression of material facts by the contents of a petition written by M.A. Mahmud, SAN & Co, falsely alleging that ‘the Court of Appeal has upheld the appeal in Appeal No. CA/S/23/2019.”
“We therefore humbly urge you to discountenance and reject the prayers and requests of M.A. Mahmud, SAN & Co, those of Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Chairman of APC. The views of the Hon. Attorney General of Federation should also not count here.
“The prayers are clearly meant to circumvent the due process of the law as regards matters that are already subjudice between the parties at various Appellant courts in Abuja and Sokoto Court of Appeal.
“The parties should allow the judicial process take its full course and await the outcome. It will amount to great injustice and undue favouritism for INEC to accede to the above prayers to the detriment of our aggrieved clients who have taken their grievances before courts of law for proper adjudication,” the letter read in part.
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