INEC suspends Certificates of Return issuance to Zamfara Gov, Assembly polls winners

The Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended the issuance of Certificates of Return to winners of the last governorship and House of Assembly elections in Zamfara State.

On its verified Facebook page, INEC said, it was just served the court orders cancelling the primaries conducted by the Zamfara All Progressives Congress.

The court order was issued by the Court of Appeal in Sokoto State on Monday.

INEC said “INEC has been served with the judgment of the Court of Appeal Sokoto concerning the sponsoring of candidates by the APC in Zamfara and is studying same. Consequently, the presentation of Certificates of Return for the Zamfara Governorship and State House of Assembly scheduled for Wednesday 27th March 2019 has been suspended.”

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The Court of Appeal had set aside the judgment of a Zamfara high court, which allowed the All Progressives Congress to field candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State

A Zamfara State High Court had recognised the primaries held by the APC and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept the party’s candidates for the elections.

The Court of Appeal, through the presiding judge, Justice Shaibu Yakubu, had earlier on Monday said the Zamfara State High Court failed to evaluate wholly all evidence presented before it before giving its verdict on the APC primaries in the state.

Justice Yakubu, who delivered the unanimous judgment, said all evidence placed before the court had shown that the respondents (APC and others) did not conduct primary elections which accordingly, contravened the electoral law.

The judge also held that the party had made two unsuccessful attempts to conduct primaries in the state and list of candidates was not duly submitted to INEC by the national headquarters of the party.

He stated, “We have looked at the exhibits 4, 7 and 8 which are very clear that primary election was not conducted. Evidence shows that the state governor only appointed a special committee that later came up with candidates’ names in place of primary elections. So far, all evidence constituted that primary election was not conducted which contravened the electoral law.”
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