Zamfara polls: Tribunal orders substituted service on APC, governor-elect

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#TrackNigeria: The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, for Zamfara, sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, granted permission to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi to serve the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Mukhta Shehu Idris.

The motion granted by the Chairman of the three-man panel , Mrs B.  A., on Thursday, ordered that the petitioners can serve the Idris through any adult staff at the National Secretariat of the APC located at Plot 40, Blantyre Street Wuse II, Abuja,

She also ordered that should be pasted on the wall of the national headquarters of APC in Abuja.

Earlier, Counsel to Shinkafi and APGA, Ifeanyi Mbaeri had asked the tribunal for an order of substituted service on APC and its candidate by delivering the petition and all processes at the APC national secretariat situated at Plot 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse 2 or by pasting the petition and all other processes at the entrance gate or any other conspicuous location.

Shinkafi prayed the the tribunal to nullify the governorship elections conducted in the state on March 9 and order for fresh polls without the participation of APC and its candidate Mukhta Shehu Idris.

The plaintiff had in the petition filed by Mbaeri stated that by virtue of Section 177(c) of the 1999 constitution as amended “a person shall be qualified for election to the office of governor of a state if inter alia, he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party to contest the said election”.

Other respondents in the ex-parte motions by the two parties are: Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

Specifically, he contended that the APC candidate who was cited in the suit as the 1st Respondent was as at the time of the Zamfara State Governorship election, not qualified to contest the election on the ground that he was not a sponsored candidate of a political party and was therefore not qualified for election to the office of the Governor of a State.

The petitioners further averred that by the combined provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), sponsorship of Governorship candidate is only through the holding of primary elections otherwise known as Special Congress in State Capital with delegates voting for aspirants of their choice.

APGA and its candidate maintained that the 2nd respondent (APC), did not hold any primary election in Zamfara State or Special congress wherein the 1st Respondent was nominated/sponsored as the Governorship Candidate of the 2nd

No date was fixed for the next sitting of the tribunal.

Earlier, Mr Innocent Akidi, the Secretary of the tribunal said that 40 petitions have been received by the tribunal on the 2019 general elections.

According to Akidi, three petitions have been received in the governorship election held on March 9, and 23 petitions for  the State Assembly and 14 National Assembly, held on Feb. 23.

The Zamfara governorship tribunal relocated its proceedings to Abuja, citing security concerns in the state. (NAN)

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