Marafa reacts to conflicting court rulings on Zamfara APC primaries

By Harrison Arubu


#TrackNigeria: Sen. Kabiru Marafa, representing Zamfara Central, on Tuesday reacted to the recent conflicting court judgments on the botched All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in the state.

Addressing Senate correspondents on the issue in Abuja, Marafa urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do the right thing.

On Friday, a Zamfara High Court overruled INEC on its decision to exclude the APC from participating in the 2019 general election in the state for failing to conduct congresses before deadline.

In the judgment, the court presided over by Justice Muhammad Shinkafi, affirmed that the APC conducted governorship and legislative primaries on Oct. 3 and Oct. 7, 2018.

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But on the same day, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja upheld the decision of INEC not to accept the list of APC candidates in the state.

She agreed with the commission that the party failed to conduct primaries before deadline.

INEC is currently studying both judgments, and it is expected to announce its decision afterwards.

The primaries were disrupted following clashes between a faction of the APC led by Marafa and another led by Gov. Abdulaziz Yari.

After the expiration of the Oct. 7 deadline for parties to conclude their primaries, INEC wrote to the APC national leadership conveying its decision to exclude the state chapter from the poll.

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This prompted some APC supporters to head to the court.

Reacting to the court judgments at Tuesday’s briefing, Marafa dismissed the state high court ruling saying it was procured by Yari, who he alleged conducted the “illegal primaries on which the court based its judgment”.

The senator expressed confidence in the ability of INEC to remain on the side of justice by obeying the judgement of the federal high court which he said is superior.

“Section 251 of the Constitution places INEC above the state high court by giving it exclusive responsibilities.

“INEC is a federal body, so a judgment from the federal high court certainly supersedes that of a state high court in this kind of matter.

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“INEC has won. Are you saying it will now abandon the ruling of the federal high court that says its decision is right to now take that of the state high court and disgrace itself before the public,” he said.

Marafa stated that INEC is made up of men and women of integrity who would always stand by what is right.(NAN)

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