Seventy-two hours after the Supreme Court delivered its judgment on the litigation arising from the All Progressives Congress primaries in Zamfara State, the party has officially reacted to the judgment.
Speaking with newsmen on Monday, shortly after a meeting of its national working committee, national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole faulted the pronouncement of the apex court.
The Supreme Court last Friday in a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general elections in the state, the PDP as the winners of all the posts earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates.
In the lead judgement read by Justice Paul Galinje, the apex court upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal to the effect that the APC did not conduct any valid primary election and as such had no candidate for any of the elections in the state.
Justice Galinje dismissed the votes scored by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted and further submitted that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.
The judgment centres on the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.
The APC national chairman incidentally emerged as Edo State governor in 2008, following the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal which upheld the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal in Edo State which reversed the “victory” of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Professor Oserhiemen Osunbor.
Oshiomhole told journalists at the party secretariat that what the panel of apex court justices delivered was not justice, as he claimed that they relied on technicalities to strip the APC of the mandate, freely given by the Zamfara electorate.
He said: “How can you ask me how I feel if the people of Zamfara voted for us in the manner that they did and the court says that those votes were wasted? Meanwhile, at the time those votes were casted (sic) High court had ruled that those candidates were validly nominated.
“There is something that I learnt from Lord Denning, a famous British Supreme Court Justice, that the law has to be interpreted taking into account the intention of the lawmakers and try to deliver justice in its purest form.
“So, there is no justice on the ground of technicalities, you imposed on the people of Zamfara State, not just a man or a woman but a whole party’s candidates from Governor to Senate and others that they didn’t elect.
“If the court thought we were wrong the justice would have demanded that we repeat but you can not use technicalities because we are in a democracy, there is nothing democratic when the court imposes strangers to govern a people but we understand that after the Supreme Court we can only go to the Court of God, to that extent we must obey the Court but what we got in Zamfara is a judgement that didn’t translate to justice.”
He, however, declined comment when asked if his leadership would sanction the party chieftains who initiated the court case, challenging the party process that produced its standard bearers in the just concluded general elections.
Findings revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday gave Certificates of Return to the Zamfara governor-elect, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, his deputy, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, three Senators-elect and seven Members of the House of Representatives-elect from the Northwest state.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune