The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, has asked the state election petition tribunal to nullify the March 9 governorship election held in the state.
He also asked the tribunal to order a fresh election that will hold without the participation of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Mukhta Idris. Shinkafi’s petition was filed by his counsel, Ifeanyi Mbaeri.
A copy of the petition was made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday. He said by virtue of Section 177(C) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, only a member of a political party sponsored by that party can contest governorship election.
He added, “Pursuant to Section 87(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), a political party seeking to sponsor or nominate candidates for elections under this section shall hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions. “In other words, by the combined provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Electoral Act 2010 as amended, sponsorship of candidates for elective positions is only through the holding of primaries.”
He said Idris, who was listed as the first respondent, was as at the time of the governorship election in the state not qualified to contest on the grounds that he was not a sponsored candidate of a political party. He maintained that the second respondent (APC) did not hold any primary election in the state or special congress wherein the first respondent was nominated /sponsored as the governorship candidate.
Shinkafi and APGA further contended that the third respondent (the Independent National Electoral Commission), was fully aware that the APC did not sponsor candidates across all elective positions in the state. He added that the participation of the first respondent as the APC governorship candidate has as been rendered a nullity by the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division.
Also, the Katsina State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Yakubu Lado, on Saturday night filed a petition at the state election petition tribunal. They are challenging the re-election of the state governor, Aminu Masari, of the APC during the March 9 governorship election. They asked the tribunal to nullify the election and order a fresh one.
In the petition, the PDP and its candidate claimed that Masari does not have the educational qualifications to contest the election. They also claimed that the governorship election was marred by widespread malpractices which they alleged affected all the 34 local government areas of the state.