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INEC re-enlists Zamfara APC on ballot after court order

FOLLOWING the judgment of the court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) can participate in the National Assembly, governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Zamfara state.

Festus Okoye, Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, signed a statement issued to this effect today.

INEC reached this decision after considering the ruling of the Court of Appeal over the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja, saying that the Appeal court had countered the judgement of the Federal High Court on grounds of “lack or want of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court”

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has consistently maintained that it will always obey court judgments and orders,” the statement read.

According to the statement, “In the case of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, the Federal High Court, Abuja and the Zamfara State High Court issued conflicting orders relating to the participation of the APC in the two strands of elections scheduled for 23rd February and 9th March 2019.”

It is recalled that the Federal High Court ruled against the APC saying “APC, having failed to conduct party primaries cannot field candidates in the said election.”

The Zamfara State High Court on the other hand “decided that it can field candidates having conducted valid party primaries,” as contained in the statement.

INEC has now conceded to the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division on Thursday which set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja for ‘lack or want of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court.”

INEC explained  that “This in effect means that the Zamfara State High Court’s decision that the APC can field candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections is the only valid and subsisting order.

Hence, APC has been re-enlisted on the ballot in the National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections programmed for 23rd February and 9th March 2019,” the ruling stated.

 

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