INEC accepts APC candidates in Zamfara
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state can participate in the national assembly, governorship and state house of assembly elections.
In a statement on Friday, Festus Okoye, chairman of the information and voter education committee of INEC, said the commission relisted candidates of the ruling party following an appeal court ruling.
The court of appeal sitting in Abuja had set aside the order of the federal high court in Abuja, supporting the decision of INEC to bar APC candidates in Zamfara over the internal crisis which affected the party from conducting primaries before the deadline set by INEC.
But the party had maintained that it conducted primaries.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has consistently maintained that it will always obey court judgments and orders,” Okoye said in a 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.
“While the former ruled that the APC, having failed to conduct party primaries cannot field candidates in the said election, the latter decided that it can field candidates having conducted valid party primaries.
“However, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division on 21st February 2019 set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja for ‘lack or want of jurisdiction on the part of the lower court.’ 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.
“Consequently, the Commission has today, in compliance with the said order, restored the APC to the ballot in the National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections scheduled for 23rd February and 9th March 2019.”
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