A senator, Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara State), has hailed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja which upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC’s) rejection of Zamfara All Progressives Congress candidates.
INEC had last October said it would not allow the ruling APC to field candidates in Zamfara because the party failed to conduct primaries before the deadline stipulated.
This was because the party failed to meet the October 7 deadline for conducting primaries to elect candidates for the elections.
Some members of the APC in the state had approached the court challenging the decision of INEC.
The party said it conducted primaries which produced current governor Abdulaziz Yari as a senatorial candidate and his commissioner of finance, Shehu Idris, as the governorship candidate, among others.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how two courts gave conflicting rulings on whether INEC can accept candidates presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Zamfara elections in 2019.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had ruled that the governing APC did not conduct primaries in the state and should not be allowed to present candidates for the electoral contest.
It said INEC acted within its powers by refusing to accept the list of candidates from the Zamfara State chapter of the APC.
However, a High Court sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, on Friday ruled that the governing APC actually conducted primaries in the state and should be allowed to present candidates for the electoral contest.
The Zamfara court specifically directed the electoral commission to accept candidates from the party for Zamfara State in the forthcoming elections.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Marafa, who is also a governorship aspirant, commended the ruling of the Federal High Court.
He said the decision of the court put a stop to the fielding of candidates “belonging to Yari’s faction of the party”.
“This has ended the political dynasty that brought in governor Abdulaziz Yari as governor of Zamfara State.
“INEC acted within its powers by refusing to accept list of candidates for the next general elections from a faction of the APC in Zamfara state,” he said.
The lawmaker also said that he would challenge the judgment of a Zamfara State High Court, “affirming that primaries were conducted by the Yari-led APC faction in the state”.
Mr Marafa has been the governor’s political foe overtime.
Both men have constantly accused each other of being responsible for the unrest in the troubled state.
He had in June, declared his intention to vie for the governorship slot. He said he joined the race due to “numerous calls from members of the party in the 14 local government areas of the state”.
The lawmaker had pledged to fight corruption, injustice and provide leadership to stimulate the growth of the state.
He also pledged to provide security as well as look at the state’s legal system to make it conform with the true teachings of Islam.
The state has been ruptured by violence in recent months with armed bandits killing scores of people and destroying several houses.
The lawmaker has continuously blamed the state governor for the high rate of insecurity and poverty in the state.