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Marafa hails court judgment upholding INEC’s position on Zamfara State

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Kabiru Marafa

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), has hailed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) rejection of Zamfara All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates.

INEC had rejected the list of candidates submitted by a faction of the APC in the state over the party’s failure to conduct primaries/ consensus.

Marafa, in a reaction to the court judgment delivered yesterday by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, said it has ended the political dynasty that brought in Governor Abdulaziz Yari as governor.

But Yari, in his own reaction, said he has forgiven the party over the alleged unfair treatment it meted out to its state chapter.

Yari, who spoke after leading the Zamfara APC governorship candidate, Mukhtar Idris, to a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, said the court had vindicated Zamfara APC, insisting that the party was not fair to the state chapter over the controversy that surrounded the governorship primary election.

The court had held that INEC acted within its purview by refusing to accept list of candidates for the general elections from a faction of the party in the state.

Justice Ojukwu said it was not the fault of INEC that the APC failed to conduct a valid primary within the period scheduled by the electoral body, adding that the electoral body’s action was intended to curb impunity among political parties and politicians and ensure that rule of law is adhered to.

The judgment was on a suit filed in the name of APC by some individuals, who said they emerged from a consensus arrangement adopted by the party in the state.

Marafa, in a statement signed by himself and made available to newsmen in Abuja, said he would challenge the judgment of a Zamfara State High Court, affirming that primaries were conducted by the Yari-led faction in the state.

Yari stated: “Some other people are saying that the reign of Yerima and Yari for 20 years is over in Zamfara State, but I believe Almighty God to give power to whomsoever he desires to give and he promised to sustain the power as long you uphold justice.

“I can say the party has not done justice to us, but we have forgiven it. In a democracy, there is a process.

“Section 87, 1 to 14 of the Electoral Act is very clear on what should be done, so in our case, we were denied many things, we have forgiven and we are going to continue.”

He commended INEC, in spite of what he described as conflicting statements from the commission’s national office and its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), saying: “The state REC went around and supervised as allowed by the law. Unfortunately, the INEC headquarters did not wait to receive the report by the REC there and it went ahead with a pronouncement.”

The governor said Zamfara was 100 per cent APC and would deliver, adding that the opposition knew they stood no chance in the state.


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