Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
An All Progressives Congress (APC) party member representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, Sen. Kabir Marafa, has said that the governor of Zamfara state, Abdulhazeez Yari, is insensitive to the killings in the state.
Marafa made the allegation during a press briefing he addressed in Kaduna on Sunday, where he frowned at Yari’s appeal on High Court judgment.
Speaking under the umbrella of the ‘Eight APC Governorship Aspirants’ (G-8), he said, “A novice application filed last Friday by Governor Yari, seeking the interim enforcement of the judgment of a Zamfara state High Court on the tussle, was strange to the law.”
The aspirants, inclusive of Senator Kabir Garba Marafa, the Zamfara state deputy governor, Ibrahim Wakala, former governor of the state, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, Rep Aminu Sani Jaji, Abu Magaji, Dauda Lawal and Mohammed Sagir Hamidu, called for the urgent intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the matter.
According to him, “Nine aspirants have purchased the APC governorship forms for the 2019 general elections. Eight out of the aspirants had formed the G-8, following the crisis that trailed the APC’s primaries in the state.
“A Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto had adjourned the appeal on APC candidates tussle to 19th February, 2019, for hearing and abridged the time for the parties to file briefs.
“Two judgments were delivered on Friday, 25th Januar,y on the matter. A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu held that INEC acted within its powers by refusing to accept list of candidates from a faction of APC in Zamfara State.
“The second judgment was delivered by Justice Muhammad Bello Shinkafi of the High Court in Gusau, Zamfara State. Shinkafi affirmed that primaries were conducted and requested INEC to accept the candidates produced from the primaries. After studying the two judgments, INEC decided to maintain its earlier position on the matter.
“Arising from the Zamfara State High Court mentioned earlier, two sets of defendants in the case before the Zamfara State High Court, i.e., Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa and Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji, separately filed Notices of Appeal against the Judgment of Zamfara State High Court.
“The records of appeal in the appeal by Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji was transmitted to the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division on 7th February, 2019, between 4–5pm. It was gathered that immediately the record was transmitted by the appellant in the appeal, text messages were sent by the Court of Appeal registry to all counsel in the appeal to come to Court on Friday, 8th February, 2019.
“While at the court on 8th February, 2019, the Appellant’s counsel sought to know why counsel were invited to come to court since records where only transmitted a day before. Counsel were informed that it was a pre-election matter, which must be disposed of expeditiously, since elections are around the corner. The counsel for the appellant informed the court that there was no urgency in the matter as the judgment appealed against did not exclude anybody from participating in the election.
He further explained that: “This motion before the Court of Appeal is said to be seeking the interim enforcement of the judgment of Zamfara State High Court. What is most baffling with the application is that no lawyer has ever seen a Court of Appeal enforcing the judgment of any court below it.
“It remains to be seen what course justice will take in the matter, especially in view of the decision reached by the Supreme Court on Friday, 8th February, 2019, affirming that INEC was right to take a position not to allow APC field any candidates for violation of the conduct of party primaries in the State.”