The disqualification of all the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates that participated in the 2019 general election in Zamfara State was caused by an internal crisis between Senator Kabir Marafa and the incumbent Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.
During the party primaries in 2018, repeated clashes between supporters of Marafa and Yari stalled the election until the stipulated time fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) elapsed.
Consequently, the electoral commission rejected the subsequent submission of the ruling party’s candidates for the election in Zamfara.
Justice Ijeoma Onjukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had upheld the decision of INEC not to recognize the candidates of the ruling APC in the state.
However, on January 27, 2019, Justice Muhammad Shinkafi of the Federal High Court in Gusau, Zamfara State, had ruled that the party actually conducted the primary elections on October 3 and 7, 2018. The judge further ordered INEC to recognize the APC candidates in the 2019 general elections.
Following Justice Shinkafi’s order, INEC had to recognize APC candidates in the state to participate in the election. After the poll, all the APC candidates emerged winners.
Few days after the election however, the Court of Appeal in Sokoto State on Monday 25 March, 2019, disqualified all APC candidates who participated in the election. According to Justice Tom Yakubu who delivered the judgment unanimously agreed by the other two judges (Justices Tijjani Abubakar and Jamilu Tukur), re-evaluation and reassessment of the evidences before the court showed that the party did not follow the electoral act in selecting its candidates.
“I am convinced that the lower Court has failed to evaluate the evidence before reaching the decision. The Appeal Court has power in law to access pieces of evidence on appeal, which we have done,” Justice Yakubu had stated while delivering the Appeal Court judgment in Sokoto.
“Based on available facts the respondents did not contradict the INEC evidence on conducting the said primary election,” he added.
The suit was filed by Senator Marafa, one of the APC chieftains who decided to approach court to get justice after the injustice against him by the governor of his state.
The Yari’s faction of APC in the state was the respondent to the petition.
The Appeal Court judgment forced INEC to withhold issuance of Certificate of Return to all APC candidates who emerged winners in the general elections.
Not satisfied with the ruling by the Appeal Court, Governor Yari’s camp decided to approach the Supreme Court to nullify the judgment of the Sokoto court.
They however got a shocking verdict which was against them.
Naija Buzz had on Friday reported how the Supreme Court sacked all the candidates of the APC in Zamfara State.
The apex court ruling was delivered by a five-man panel presided over by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The Supreme Court in its judgment delivered by Justice Paul Galinje upheld the ruling of the Appeal Court in Sokoto.
The apex court further noted that since APC in Zamfara did not produce its candidates by following the electoral law, it means the ruling party had no candidates in the general elections held in the state.
Consequently, a political party that had no valid candidate in an election cannot be considered winner of the election the apex court stated.
The court ordered that the candidate and party with the second highest votes should be declared winner by INEC. The court also fined the appellant the sum of N10million.
“Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stand elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the Supreme Court ruled.
INEC on Saturday had to comply with the order of the highest court in the land and declared the candidates and party with the second highest votes winners of the elections.
The candidates of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got the second highest votes in the elections. Therefore, INEC declared all the PDP candidates winners of the 2019 general elections held in Zamfara State.
The Supreme Court ruling affected the governorship position, the senate, National House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly members.
PDP candidates were declared winners for the governorship and deputy governorship positions, 3 senatorial district positions, 7 National House of Rep. members, and 23 State House of Assembly members. Mr. Kabiru Hashimu, the candidate of NRM, won the MARU SOUTH Constituency.
Here are the lists of all the PDP candidates who will receive Certificate of Return from INEC next week.
1. GOVERNOR: BELLO MOHAMMED MATAWALLE
2. DEPUTY GOVERNOR: MAHDI ALIYU GUSAU
1. ZAMFARA NORTH ALHAJI YA’U SAHABI
2. ZAMFARA CENTRAL MOHAMMED HASSAN
3. ZAMFARA WEST LAWALI HASSAN ANKA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1. KAURAN NAMODA/BIRNIN MAGAJI UMAR SANI DAN-GALADIMA
2. SHINKAFI/ZURMI BELLO HASSAN SHINKAFI
3. GUSAU/TSAFE KABIRU AMADU
4. BUNGUDU/MARU SHEHU AHMED
5. ANKA/TALATA MAFARA KABIRU YAHAYA
6. BAKURA/MARADUN AHMED MUHAMMAD BAKURA
7. GUMMI/BUKKUYUM SULAIMAN ABUBAKAR GUMI
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
1. KAURA NAMODA NORTH ZAHARADEEN M. SADA
2. KAURA NAMODA SOUTH ANAS SARKIN FADA
3. BIRNIN MAGAJI NURA DAHIRU
4. ZURMI EAST SALIHU USMAN ZURMI
5. ZURMI WEST NASIRU MU’AZU
6. SHINKAFI MUHAMMAD G. AHMAD
7. TSAFE EAST MUSA BAWA MUSA
8. TSAFE WEST ALIYU NA-MAIGORA
9. GUSAU EAST IBRAHIM NAIDA
10. GUSAU WEST SHAFI’U DAMA
11. BUNGUDU EAST KABIRU MAGAJI
12. BUNGUDU WEST NASIRU BELLO LAWAL
13. MARU NORTH YUSUF ALHASSAN MUHAMMAD
14. MARU SOUTH KABIRU HASHIMU
15. ANKA YUSUF MUHAMMAD
16. TALATA MAFARA NORTH SHAMSUDEEN HASSAN
17. TALATA MAFARA SOUTH AMINU YUSUF JANGEBE
18. BAKURA TUKUR JEKADA BIRNIN TUDU
19. MARADUN I FARUK MUSA DOSARA
20. MARADUN II NASIRU ATIKU
21. GUMMI I ABDULNASIR IBRAHIM
22. GUMMI II MANSUR MOHAMMED
23. BUKKUYUM NORTH IBRAHIM MOHAMMED NA’IDDA
24. BUKKUYUM SOUTH SANI DAHIRU