Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, will not field candidates for the elections in Zamfara state.
Naija News reports that INEC made this known on Wednesday after its meeting, where it maintained its stance that the party did not conduct valid primaries to elect candidates for the governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections in Zamfara.
The nation’s electoral umpire made its position know while reacting to two contradictory court judgments on the issue.
While a state high court in Zamfara had ruled that the ruling party conducted primaries in the state, a federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections.
INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, said going by the contradictory judgments, the commission has decided to maintain its stance.
His words: “The Commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgments even when it disagrees with them,” Okoye said in a statement.
“However, these are clearly two contradictory judgments delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day.
“Consequently, the Commission has decided to maintain its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State.”
INEC said it also approved the final list of candidates for the governorship, state assembly and federal capital territory (FCT) area council elections.
“On the whole, there are 1,066 candidates for the Governorship elections, 14,583 for the State Assembly elections and 806 for the FCT Area Council elections broken down into 105 Chairmanship candidates and 701 Councillorship candidates.
“Commission also reviewed various aspects of its preparedness for the 2019 general elections and expressed satisfaction with the overall preparations for the elections.
“A meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners will take place next week to further review the state of preparedness of each State.”