Posted by James Kwen, Abuja | 31 January 2019 | 1,069 times
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again rejected candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the March 2 Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
INEC had last year rejected APC candidates from Zamfara State due to the inability of the party to conduct primary elections within the specified period of August 18 and October 7, 2018.
Business Day earlier reported that INEC was meeting on Wednesday to decide the fate of the APC candidates from Zamfara following two conflicting judgements of Federal High Court Gusau and FCT.
Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education in a statement at the end of the meeting Wednesday night said the Commission, “maintained its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 20l0 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State”.
According to the statement, “the Commission reviewed the situation concerning the All Progressives Congress (APC) fielding candidates for the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State. Commission noted that there are two court judgements on the matter one from a State High Court in Gusau and the other from a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“The former judgement clearly said that the APC conducted primaries in Zamfara State, contrary to the position of the Commission. On the other hand, the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections.
“The Commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgements, even when it disagrees with them. However, these are clearly two contradictory judgements delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day”.
Okoye also disclosed that, “INEC approved the final list of candidates for the Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled to hold on 2nd March 2019.
“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 20l9 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”.
•Sourced from a BusinessDay report
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