2019: INEC bans Zamfara APC from fielding governorship, NASS, State Assembly candidates; party consults lawyers

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) is consulting its lawyers to file a reaction on the eligibility of its candidates to run in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in a letter on Wednesday that the party is not eligible to field candidates for governorship, National Assembly and state assembly positions in the North-West state.

The letter, signed by Okechukwu Ndeche, the commission’s acting Secretary, reads: “Failure to Conduct Primaries in Zamfara State Within the Stipulated Time-frame“ .

“ Please refer to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections released by the commission on January 9 2018.

“You would note that from the timetable the conduct of primaries is scheduled to take place between August 18 to October 7, 2018.

“However, report received from our office in Zamfara State shows that no primaries were conducted by your party in Zamfara, notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.

“Consequently, based on the provision of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidate from Zamfara State.

“For clarity, our position therefore, is that the APC will not be fielding candidates for the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara for the 2019 general elections”.

However, a source in the APC National Secretariat said that the party leadership would contact its legal department before responding on the matter.

The APC National Working Committee (NWC) had on October 5, dissolved the party executives at all levels in Zamfara, after contentious primaries said to have been conducted on October 3 and 4.

Mr Yekini Nabena, the APC acting National Publicity Secretary, had said that by the decision, all party executives, at all levels in Zamfara, were dissolved.

The dissolved party executives had claimed they conducted primaries on
October 3 which picked a Governor Abdulaziz Yari-anointed candidate, Alhaji Mukhtar Shehu Idris, as winner of the governorship primary election, and Yari himself as winner of Zamfara West senatorial ticket, in a primary conducted on October 4. The NWC invalidated the results.

The NWC inaugurated a new committee which attempted to conduct the Governorship and Legislative primaries in the state between October 6 and 7.

The panel failed to conduct the elections because of threats by Yari to call out supporters in protest.

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