APC Loses Out on Zamfara Elections as Appeal Court Declines Enforcement Order

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The Appeal Court sitting in Sokoto has dismissed the appeal filed by Aminu Sani Jaji challenging the judgement of the lower court which upheld the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state.

Also affected by the ruling was the earlier motion filed by APC, seeking the enforcement of the earlier judgement as the panel did not make any order in respect to the motion.

The dismissal followed the motion of withdrawal of appeal filed by the counsels to the appellant, Ishayaka Dikko (SAN).

He cited order 11 rule 4 of the Court of Appeal 2016 which gives the appellant unilateral right to withdraw his case at any given time.

Objecting the motion, Counsel to Zamfara APC, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) argued that the withdrawal was not in compliance with the rule of the court, considering the provision of Order 11 Rule 4 which stipulated that counsel in an appeal must consent to withdrawal of the appeal by the appellant.

However, the panel after hearing both arguments dismissed the appeal.

The presiding Judge, Justice Jummai Hannatu Sankey averred that the appellant has the right to withdraw his case at anytime considering that no issue has been joined yet.

On the basis on that, the panel dismissed the appeal including the motion earlier filed by the Zamfara APC, seeking the enforcement of the judgement of the Zamfara High Court which upheld the primaries of the party in the state.

Reacting to the ruling, Counsel to APC, Magaji (SAN), said they have no doubt about the position of the court.

On whether they would take the matter to the apex court, he said that would be the decision of his client.

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Similarly, counsel to 43 to 182 respondents, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), commended the court for dismissing the case, saying as it is now APC has no candidates in the forthcoming elections.

He also commended INEC which in compliance with the judgement of the Abuja high court refused to recognise the purported primaries of APC in the state, saying it was an indication that the electoral body was truly independent of any external interference.

However, Senator Kabiru Marafa and Jaji have all hailed the ruling, describing it as a victory to democracy.

According to them, gone were the days when somebody would impose candidates on his people unchallenged.

Marafa added that “God has answered the prayers of our peoples who are being killed and kidnapped everyday and prayed for change of government which would be responsive to their course.”

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