Eight governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state have accused Abdulaziz Yari, the governor, of making moves to enforce a state court judgement on the party.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Kaduna, Kabir Marafa, who spoke on behalf of other aspirants, said a novice application was filed on Friday by the governor seeking the interim enforcement of the judgement of the state high court on the crisis rocking the ruling party in the state.
The aspirants, under the auspices of G-8, include Marafa, a senator; Dauda Lawal, former executive director of First Bank;Ibrahim Wakala, the deputy governor; Mahmud Shinkafi, former governor; Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence; Aminu Sani Jaji, Abu Magaji, and Mohammed Sagir Hamidu.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had barred the ruling APC from fielding candidates for elective positions in the state over the party’s inability to conduct primaries as a result of intra-party crisis.
However, the national working committee had picked Lawal as the consensus candidate and the case is now at the court of appeal
On Friday, the governor said elections will not take place in the state if candidates of the ruling party are excluded, asking INEC to comply with the judgement of the state high court which confirmed that the party conducted primaries in the state.
“To this effect, the group of eight is calling for the urgent intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the matter,” Marafa said.
“It will be recalled that nine aspirants purchased the APC governorship forms for the 2019 general elections. Eight out of the aspirants formed the G-8 , following the crisis that trailed the APC’s primaries in the state.
“Arising from the Zamfara state high court mentioned earlier, two sets of defendants in the case before the Zamfara state high court – Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa and Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji separately filed notices of appeal against the judgment of Zamfara state high court.
“What is most baffling with the application is that no lawyer has ever seen a court of appeal enforcing the judgment of any court below it.
“It remains to be seen what course justice will take in the matter especially in view of the decision reached by the Supreme Court on Friday 8th February 2019 affirming that INEC was right to take a position not to allow APC field any candidates for violation of the conduct of party primaries in the state.”
A court of appeal sitting in Sokoto had adjourned the appeal on the matter till February 19 for hearing and abridged the time for the parties to file briefs.