INEC Puts Off Issuance of Certificates of Return to Elected APC Candidates in Zamfara
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the issuance of Certificates of Return to winners of the March 9, governorship and House of Assembly elections in Zamfara.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Commission on its twitter page on Tuesday night.
According to INEC, the suspension was in compliance to Monday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal in Sokoto, which set aside the judgment of a Zamfara High Court that allowed the APC to field candidates for the March 9 elections in the state.
“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 27 has been suspended,” it said.
Recall that INEC had earlier said the APC would not contest in the state election, but a Zamfara State High Court directed INEC to accept APC’s candidates just few days to the elections.
However, the Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto 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.
The presiding judge of the Appeal Court, Justice Shaibu Yakubu, delivering the unanimous judgment, said all evidence placed before the court had shown that the APC and others respondents did not conduct primary elections.
This according to the court contravened the electoral law.
“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.”
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.