The Supreme Court has voided all votes cast for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections held in Zamfara, declaring all political parties with the second highest votes in the elections and the required spread, elected to the various elective positions.
The five-member panel of justices led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, held that the party in the state failed to conduct primaries in accordance with the party rules.
“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.
A faction of the APC loyal to outgoing governor Abdulaziz Yari, had filed an appeal against the judgement of a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal in Sokoto which dismissed the judgment of the Zamfara State High Court, that earlier recognized the October 3, 2018 primary of the party, for failing to properly evaluate the evidence that the exercise was in line with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines and party constitution.
The Yari faction through their lawyer asked the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Appellate Court in an appeal filed by Senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabiru Marafa and 129 others, challenging the outcome of the primary and recognize that of the High Court over the candidates of the party in the State.
On the other hand, Counsel to the Marafa-faction, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) prayed the apex court to strike out the appeal by the Yari faction for being unmeritorious and incompetent as they were seeking reliefs from the Court of Appeal and not the Supreme Court, while asking the apex court to also award substantial costs.