It’s Illegal To Allow Zamfara APC Contest Elections, Says Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not bound to accept candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state.

On Thursday, the Abuja division of the appeal court set a verdict of a lower court which upheld INEC’s decision not to allow Zamfara APC participate in the general election.

INEC had said the internal crisis in the state chapter of the party prevented the conduct of primaries before the deadline.

The two factions of the party went to court but the group of Abdulaziz Yari, the governor, won in the end.

In a statement on Friday, Ozekhome asked INEC to be mindful of the pending appeal against the Zamfara high court order.

“The false assertion that the Court of Appeal had cleared the way for the APC to participate in Saturday’s election is therefore a lie from the pit of hell,” the lawyer said.

“It is nothing short of the desperate minute by frustrated politician holding on any available straw to smuggle themselves willy nilly into Saturday’s election.

“This cannot work. INEC is hereby reminded that there exists in addition to the above legal obstacles, a subsisting appeal which arose from the Zamfara state high court judgment which is still extant and pending before the Sokoto division of the court of appeal , in appeal no: CA/S/32/2019.

“INEC is therefore obligated and legally bound to stand by its earlier well founded position that APC, having never conducted any primaries in Zamfara state, have no candidates in the forthcoming elections in Zamfara state, have no candidate in the forthcoming elections in Zamfara state, except the presidential election.

“The judgment given by the court of appeal today clearly stated that the appeal partially succeeded and went ahead to set aside the judgment of the lower court on jurisdiction only, but refuse to grant the cause of action component of the appeal.

“By this, the Court of Appeal refused to grant INEC any order to revive candidates of the APC from Zamfara state. The cross appeal therefore partially failed because, from the onset, APC had a complaint against INEC only.

“Any other act by INEC in fielding any candidates from the governor Yari’s group or the ‘G-8’ group will be illegal, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

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