…Withdraws Petition against APC/Idris
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is set to challenge the declaration of Bello Mettawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 9th Governorship Elections in the state.
This is as the party and its candidate Alhaji Dr. Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi on Monday withdrew the petition challenging the declaration of Mukhtar Shehu Idris and his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the gubernatorial elections in Zamfara State.
Counsel to Shinkafi and APGA Bar Ifeanyi Mbaeri speaking to newsmen in Abuja after withdrawing the petition stated that the legal team is looking at the possibilities of challenging the INEC’s declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate Bello Matawalle as the Governor of Zamfara State on the grounds that he was not qualified to have contested any elections having not obtained the basic requirements of the law.
According to Mbaeri “we have withdrawn the petition filed by Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi and APGA wherein we had challenged the declaration of the APC and its candidate Idris as the winners of the March 9th, 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State. This followed the judgment of the Supreme Court which had on May 24th,2019 nullified the elections of all the candidates of the APC in Zamfara State on the grounds that the party failed to conduct a valid primary election.
Specifically, the apex court had in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Galunje held that the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division was right when it agreed that the party did not conduct primaries in the state as according to him “a party that has no candidate cannot be said to have won an election, hence the votes cast for the APC in the election were wasted votes.
Consequently, following a unanimous judgment a panel of five Justices of the Apex Court led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad declared that the party with the highest number of votes cast at the election outside the APC is the winner of the election.
INEC in compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court on the 25th of May 2019 had declared Mattawalle and the PDP as the winners of the Governorship elections in Zamfara State.
Mbaeri pointed out that “his clients Shinkafi and APGA may likely challenge the declaration of Mattawalle as the Governor of Zamfara State , we are looking at the possibility of filling a petition at the Election Tribunal to challenge the decision of INEC to declare the PDP candidate as the Governor of Zamfara State.
“The statutory 21 days for the filling of election petition is still subsisting, so APGA and its candidate at looking at the possibility of filling a petition to challenge the decalaration of Mattawalle and his party the PDP as the winners of the March 9th governorship elections in Zamfara State in line with Section 143 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Mbaeri stated that the provisions of the Electoral Act and Constitution cited provides for a basic qualification for any person that wants to stand for an election in Nigeria and it is our contention that the PDP candidate Mattawalle is not qualified having not obtained the requisite qualification which is school certificate or its equivalent.