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A’court panel withdraws from Zamfara APC case over $3m bribe allegation

A’court panel withdraws from Zamfara APC case over $3m bribe allegation
February 11
17:37 2019
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An appeal court panel has withdrawn from a case challenging the verdict of a lower court on the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary poll in Zamfara state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the APC in Zamfara will not field candidates because its inability to hold a successful primary election.

But two high courts gave different judgments on the matter.

While the Abuja federal high court upheld INEC’s decision rejecting APC candidates in the state, a high court in Zamfara ordered the electoral commission to accept the candidates of the faction of Abdulaziz Yari, governor of the state.

Kabir Marafa, serving senator and governorship aspirant, had appealed the judgement.

At the court on Monday, Muhammad Nuhu, counsel to Marafa, alleged that the three-man panel had received a bribe of $3 million.

Nuhu said that had made made them lose confidence in the panel. The lawyer asked the appeal court president to constitute a new panel that will entertain the matter.

“My client is not comfortable with them and urge the president of the court of appeal to constitute a new panel to entertain the case,” he said.

Following the allegation made by Marafa’s lawyer, Ahmed Belgori, head of the panel, disqualified himself and his colleagues.

Yari whose preferred candidate is Muktar Idris, finance commissioner, has threatened that election will not hold in the state if APC candidates are not allowed to participate.

Marafa, Mansur Dan-Ali, defence minister;  and six other aspirants have asked the National Judicial Council (NJC) to intervene in the appeal of Yari seeking to enforce the judgement of the Zamfara high court.

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