The Court of Appeal Sokoto Division on Monday set aside the judgment delivered by the Zamfara High Court allowing the All Progressives Congress to field candidates in the 2019 elections.
The appeal was filed by Senator Kabiru Marafa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), and 129 others through his counsel, Mike Ozheokome, SAN.
Delivering the lead judgment, which was adopted by two other justices — Tijani Abubakar and Jamilu Tukur — Justice Tom Yakubu held that the lower court failed in its duty to properly evaluate the evidence before it.
Yakubu said judges have the legal power to produce judgment and reach decisions with reason, noting that in the instance case, it was not done.
“I am convinced that the lower court has failed to evaluate the evidence before reaching the decision.
“The Appeal Court has power in law to access pieces of evidence on appeal, which we have done.
“Based on available facts, the respondents did not contradict the INEC evidence on conducting the said primary election,” Yakubu said.
Meanwhile the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to present certificate of return to its candidate in Zanfara State, Bello Matawalle.
Southwest vice-chairman of the PDP, Eddy Olafeso, stated this in an interview with BusinessDay, Monday, after the Court of Appeal judgement.
Olafeso said the judgement was a victory for democracy, while lauding the judiciary for staying on the side of justice.
“We celebrate the judiciary for staying on the side of the people, for staying with justice. But we are asking INEC to present certificate of return to our candidate; APC is an impostor.”
The PDP chieftain further condemned the manner in Saturday’s supplementary gubernatorial election was conducted in Kano State, stressing that the election was marred by violence, while members of the party were prevented from voting.
“The Kano election was a disaster and you all saw what happened. That was not an election. They unleashed violence on our members so they could not vote,” he said.
He said his party would seek redress at the tribunal, insisting that Ganduje was an impostor. “He never won.”