A faction of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State loyal to the governor, Abdulaziz Yari, has insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission must include the party in the National Assembly, governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
One of the faction’s lawyers, Christian Kelechi, said this in an interview with reporters in Abuja on Friday.
Kelechi said there was a valid court order that directed INEC to include names of APC candidates in the list of those contesting the elections.
He said, “To the best of our knowledge as counsel involved in the matter, we know there is a valid and subsisting judgement of the Zamfara State High Court wherein the court agreed with the plaintiffs that APC duly conducted its primary election in the state.
“That primary election produced the party’s candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly elections coming up on February 16 and March 2. That is our position.”
Kelechi said there was no truth in the claim that there are two conflicting judgments from the state high court and a Federal High Court in Abuja on the matter.
He explained that after the judgment of the state high court, some defendants filed an appeal which they later withdrew.
“What the withdrawal means in the eye of the law is that there is no appeal, so the court verdict is valid and subsisting.
“INEC, as a responsible government institution, should allow that list,” he added.
The lawyer said he could not understand why INEC was finding it difficult to obey a valid court order.
Kelechi said there was nothing wrong in the letter written to INEC by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on the matter.
He said it was the legal team that felt the time was too short for the party to participate in the election as directed by the court, hence the decision to communicate with the AGF, being the country’s chief law officer, in order for him to advise INEC.
He added, “There is nothing wrong in AGF writing INEC, asking the commission to comply with a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“INEC is bound as a responsible government institution to comply with the court judgement. There is nothing wrong in that.”