Kaduna – Barely 10 days to the general elections, eight governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, including the Deputy Governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakala have faulted moves by the state Governor, Abdulaziz Yari to enforce the judgment of the State High Court on Zamfara APC candidates tussle.
The aspirants under the umbrella of G-8 said an application filed last Friday by Governor Yari, seeking the interim enforcement of the judgment of a Zamfara State High Court on the tussle, was strange to the law.
They however, warned the Governor against implementing the state High Court judgment and asked the National Judicial Council (NJC) to wade into the matter.
Sen Kabir Marafa, Ibrahim Wakala, former Governor of the state, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, including Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Rep Aminu Sani Jaji, Abu Magaji, Dauda Lawal and Mohammed Sagir Hamidu who addressed a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, called for the urgent intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the matter.
Nine aspirants purchased the APC governorship forms for the general elections with eight of them forming the G-8 following the crisis that trailed the APC’s primaries in the state.
A Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto had adjourned the Appeal on APC candidates tussle to February 19, 2019 for hearing and abridged the time for the parties to file briefs.
Two judgments were delivered on Friday, 25th January on the matter.
A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu held that INEC acted within its powers by refusing to accept list of candidates from a faction of APC in Zamfara State.
The second judgment was delivered by Justice Muhammad Bello Shinkafi of the High Court in Gusau, Zamfara State.
Shinkafi affirmed that primaries were conducted and requested INEC to accept the candidates produced from the primaries.
After studying the two judgments, INEC decided to maintain its earlier position on the matter.
Arising from the Zamfara State High Court, two of the defendants in the case before the Zamfara State High Court; Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa and Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji separately filed notices of Appeal against the Judgment of the Zamfara State High Court.
The records of Appeal in the Appeal by Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji were transmitted to the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division on 7th February, 2019 between 4 – 5pm.
It was revealed that, immediately the record was transmitted by the appellant in the appeal, text messages were sent by the Court of Appeal registry to all counsels in the appeal to come to court on Friday, February 8, 2019.
While at the court on February 8, 2019, the Appellant’s counsel sought to know why counsels were invited to come to court since records were only transmitted a day before.
“Counsels were informed that it was a pre-election matter which must be disposed of expeditiously since elections are around the corner”.
Counsel for the appellant informed the court that there was no urgency in the matter as the judgment appealed did not exclude anybody from participating in the election.
“Respondents in this appeal (Governor Yari’s camp) have filed a notice application on Friday, February 8, 2019 late in the night around after 9pm and parties were served on Saturday, February 9, 2019 and were asked to come to court on Monday, 11th February, 2019 for hearing of the application”.
According to Marafa, “This motion before the Court of Appeal is said to be seeking the interim enforcement of the judgment of Zamfara State High Court”.
“What is most baffling with the application is that no lawyer has ever seen a Court of Appeal enforcing the judgment of any court below it”.
“It remains to be seen what the course of justice will take in the matter especially in view of the decision reached by the Supreme Court on Friday, February 8, 2019 affirming that INEC was right to take a position not to allow APC field any candidates for violation of the conduct of party primaries in the State”.
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