Abraham Smith Odih, Abuja.
The Senator Kabiru Marafa-led faction of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State, on Thursday, wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission pleading for the withdrawal of the certificates of return issued to Governor Abdulaziz Yari and other candidates of the party who emerged victorious in the February 23, 2019 National Assembly elections in the state.
The faction, through their counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who signed the letter, urged the Commission to obey the March 25, 2019 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Sokoto by withdrawing the certificates of return which it said were “erroneously issued” to the persons.
The Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal had, in Monday’s judgment, set aside the earlier verdict of the Zamfara High Court that had cleared APC to field candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
Marafa-led faction’s letter, which was addressed to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was titled, ‘Please, withdraw certificates of return already erroneously issued to some persons based on purported elections whose alleged primaries have been voided by the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division in Appeal No. CA/S/32/2019; Between Senator Kabiru Sokoto and 140 others Vs Sanusi Liman Dan Alhaji and 41 others.’
“We humbly urge you to use your good offices to withdraw the certificate of return already erroneously given to some respondents in the above appeal,” Ozekhome said in the concluding part of the letter.
He stated on behalf of his clients that by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, Yari and others were “erroneously included in the election” and as such, were not deserving of being issued certificates of return.
While INEC had issued certificates of return to Yari and other National Assembly candidates before Monday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal, INEC later announced that on the basis of the judgment, it would not issue same to the APC’s governorship and House of Assembly candidates in the state who emerged victorious in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.