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Supreme Court Refuses To Upturn Zamfara APC Judgment

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The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an application for it to review its judgment  which voided the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates in the last elections in Zamfara State.

A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, in a ruling on Monday morning, struck out an application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the APC, seeking a review of the judgement.

Counsel to APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), had filed and application urging the apex court to take a second look at its judgment of 24th May, which nullified nomination of APC candidates in the state.

Clarke in the application urged the court to order fresh election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as against its consequential order  which directs other party with the highest vote to various offices that were contested for in Zamfara be declared winners.

The five panel of justices led held that the consequential order arose from the substantive suit which is within the prescribed 60 days for pre-election matters therefore the appeal is incompetent and the court lacks jurisdiction to review it.

“The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the matter because anything that has to do with pre-election matter must be brought within 60 days after a decision had been delivered,’’ he said.

Rhodes-Vivour noted that the  appellant only filed an appeal on only the lead judgment leaving the judgment by other members of the panel.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour further held that the consequential orders made were part and parcel of the pre-election matter and it was an abuse asking the apex court to review its judgment or orders.

“We don’t seat on appeal over our own decision. We have no jurisdiction over this matter,” he said.

The Supreme Court had in May upheld judgment of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division and the trial court, which invalidated the participation of the APC in the last governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara on over allegations of controversial primaries.

The Supreme Court thereby ordered that all the political parties whose candidates scored the second highest votes in the elections  should be declared winners forthwith.

Sequel to the judgement, INEC issued Certificate of Return to candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bello Matawalle and his runningmate Mahdi Aliyu Gusau and other PDP candidates for the National Assembly election.

The fallout of the crisis that trailed the APC primaries in Zamfara state led to the inability of the party to field candidates for governorship, national and state assemblies elections.

Out of the nine candidates who purchased the governorship forms of the APC in Zamfara, eight candidates, led by Senator Kabiru Marafa challenged the position of governor Abdulaziz Yari, who is claiming that the party conducted primaries in the state.

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