Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, has finally lost its bid to govern Zamfara State for the next four years following a Supreme Court ruling.
An APC governor, Abdulaziz Yari, is the outgoing governor of the state.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the APC did not conduct valid primaries in the build up to the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.
The Supreme Court validated the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which ruled that no valid primaries were conducted by the APC in Zamfara State.
The court in a unanimous judgement by a five-member panel on Friday decided that a party that had no valid candidate cannot be said to have emerged winner of the recently conducted general elections.
In an appeal brought by the APC, the apex court ruled against the apellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the APC.
“Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stand elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the court ruled.
The candidate of the APC, Mukhtar Idris, had been declared winner of the elections after he polled 534,541 votes despite controversies trailing his candidacy.
The PDP candidate is believed to have come second in the election and could now be declared the governor-elect in the state.
The ruling also affects all APC Zamfara House of Assembly candidates who were initially declared winners of their elections.
Dino Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes Nov 16 For Fresh Election in Kogi State
The Chairman, Information and voter committee of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Festus OKoye has announced a new date for fresh election in Kogi West Senatorial district.
This means that, Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and his opposition, Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will return to the poll.
Okoye announced November 16 for a fresh Kogi west Senatorial district on Monday.
He said the election would hold simultaneously with the coming governorship election in the state.
“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said.
It could be recalled that the court nullify the senatorial election on February 23 which was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
The nullification of the election was due to the suit filed by Adeyemi at the election petition tribunal.
The court had, on October 11, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within three months from the date of judgement with those who participated prior.
Okoye urged candidates to focus on issue-based campaign.
“We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,’’ he said.
Kogi Assembly confirms Onoja as Yahaya Bello’s deputy
The Kogi State House of Assembly, on Monday, confirmed Chief David Onoja, as the Deputy Governor of the state.
This followed the impeachment of Elder Simon Achuba last week by the House.
It was gathered that Onoja was confirmed at exactly 8:27 am.
Onoja was the immediate past Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello.
When he appeared before the 25 lawmakers, he was asked to take a bow and go.
The Speaker of the House, Prince Mathew Kolawole, charged the new deputy governor to support the vision of Alhaji Yahaya Bello towards bringing more development in the state.
Prince Kolawole directed the Clerk to convey this development to the Judiciary by swearing in Onoja as the new deputy governor.
The House, however, adjourned sitting to Tuesday 3rd December, 2019.
Yahaya Bello risks disqualification over ‘double registration’
Natasha Akpoti, a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has asked a federal high court in Abuja to disqualify Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, from the November 16 gubernatorial election, over alleged double registration as a voter.
Akpoti was a governorship candidate but she was disqualified by the electoral commission over the invalid nomination of her running mate.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019 and dated October 10, Akpoti said Bello allegedly committed the offence of double registration on May 23, 2017 at the government house in Lokoja after he had reportedly registered as a voter in Abuja in 2011.
The suit has the All Progressives Congress (APC) (first defendant) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) (second defendant) as defendants.
Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed it on her behalf.
Akpoti formulated three questions for determination by the court which reads; “Whether Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st Defendant (APC) in the forthcoming Kogi governorship poll being organised by the 2nd Defendant (INEC) has by his act of double registration committed a wrongful act capable of disqualifying him as a voter or person to be voted for having violated the provisions of Section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“Whether Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant, is on account of his double registration as a voter, a fit and proper person to be sponsored as a governorship to candidate by the 1st Defendant or allowed by the 2nd Defendant to contest as a governorship candidate the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election.
“Whether Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election is not liable to be disqualified and/or barred from participating or contesting in and/or voting for any political office for the next 10 years, pursuant to his flagrant violation of the provisions of Section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).”
The plaintiff further asked the court to declare that Bello violated section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) by virtue of his act of double registration as a voter, and a declaration that he is liable to be disqualified and/or barred from contesting, participating and/or voting in the November 16 Kogi governorship poll “on account of his wrongful act of gross violation of Section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), which act of violation robs him of the capacity or vires to contest the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election.”
She also prayed for an order of the court disqualifying and/or barring Bello, or directing INEC to disqualify the APC candidate from the governorship race or for any political office for the next 10 years and an order of mandamus compelling or mandating INEC to investigate the allegation of double registration against Bello and as well prosecute him on completion of his first tenure of office as governor in January, 2020, among others.
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