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INEC clears Zamfara APC to contest

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared the Zamfara state All Progressive Congress (APC) to present candidates for the general elections.

This follows the Court of Appeal ruling on the matter.

The state APC was barred from presenting candidates following an internal crisis, which prevented the party from conducting its primaries within the time frame set by INEC.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday over ruled the lower court on technical ground.

There were two conflicting rulings from two court of the same jurisdiction, one sitting in Zamfara and the other in Abuja.

While the Zamfara Court ruled in favour of the ruling party, the Abuja High court ruled against the party, which therefore forced INEC to take a decision.

However, the Appeal Court ruling on Thursday changed the narrative.

INEC, in a statement by the National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the commission has complied with the Court order.

The statement reads: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has consistently maintained that it will always obey court judgments and orders

“In the case of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State, the Federal High Court Abuja and the Zamfara State High Court issued conflicting orders relating to the participation of the APC in the two strands of elections scheduled for 23rd February and 9th March 20l9.

“While the former ruled that the APC, having failed to conduct party primaries cannot field candidates in the said election, the latter decided that it can field candidates having conducted valid party primaries.

“However, the Court of Appeal Abuja Judicial Division on 21st February 2019 set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja for “lack or want of jurisdiction on the part on the lower court.

“This in effect means the Zamfara State High Court‘s decision that the APC can field candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections is the only valid and subsisting order.

“Consequently, the Commission has today, in compliance with the said order, restored the APC to the ballot in the National Assembly. Governorship and State House of Assembly elections scheduled for 23rd February and 9th March 2019.”

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