By Godson Ikiebey
The court of appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the judgment of the federal high court, Abuja, which held that the Zamfara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot field candidates for the general election.
You will recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had barred APC from participating in the election in the state over what it called its inability to conduct primaries before the stipulated deadline.
And on January 25, 2019 a federal high court in Abuja held that INEC was right to have delisted names of candidates APC presented for the elections.
The court ruled in favour of the commission, stating that the APC failed to conduct primaries within the required period.
However a 3 man panel of the appellate court held that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to have entertained the suit, that it was an abuse of court process.
According to the court of appeal panel, the suit at the federal high court was filed out of time.
It said while the electoral act provided for 14 days to institute a suit after the cause of action had arisen, the suit was filed 15 days after, making the action illegal.
This coming one week after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation asked INEC to postpone elections in Zamfara state. A letter that was disregarded by INEC.
At a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, February 21, 2019, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, had insisted that APC in Zamfara would not field candidates.
The governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari, had threatened that elections will not hold in Zamfara without APC participating in them.