ZAMFARA: SHINKAFI WANTS ELECTION TRIBUNAL TO ORDER ANOTHER ELECTION WITHOUT APC

The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, has asked the state’s Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja to nullify the March 9 governorship elections conducted in the state and order for a fresh elections without the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate Mukhta Shehu Idris.

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Shinkafi had in his petition filed before the tribunal on March 29 filed through his Counsel, Ifeanyi Mbaeri stated that by virtue of Section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended that “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.”

Shinkafi further averred that “pursuant to section 87(1) of The Electoral Act 2010 as amended a political party seeking to sponsor or nominate candidates for elections under this section shall hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions. In other words, by the combined provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Electoral Act 2010 as amended, Sponsorship of candidates for elective positions is only through the holding of primaries.

Also citing Section 140(2) of the Electoral A t 2010 as amended Shinkafi stated that “Where an election tribunal or court nullifies an election on the ground that the person who obtained the highest votes at the election was not qualified to contest the contest the election or marred by substantial irregularities or noncompliance with the provisions of this act, the election tribunal or court shall not declare the person with the second highest number of votes or any other person as elected, but shall order a fresh election.”

He contended that Mukhtar Shehu Idris cited in the suit as the 1st respondent was as at the time of the Zamfara State Governorship elections not qualified to contest the election on the grounds 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.

He maintained that the 2nd respondent, the APC did not hold any primary election in Zamfara State or Special congress wherein the 1st respondent was nominated or sponsored as the governorship candidate of the 2nd respondent for the Zamfara State Governorship Election that took place on 9th March.

He averred that the purported participation of the 1st respondent as the APC Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State held on March 9th, 2019 has been rendered a nullity by the judgment of the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division in appeal number CA/S/32/2019 Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa & others v Sanusi Lukman Dan Alhaji &others, delivered on 25th March 2019.

He among others asked the Tribunal to direct INEC to conduct fresh Governorship Elections in Zamfara State within 90 days without the participation of the 1st and 2nd respondents, having failed to sponsor a Governorship Candidate within the time stipulated by law.