A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and counsel to People’s Democratic Party, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has described the judgment of the Supreme Court which nullified the elections of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State as a boost to the country’s democracy.
Ozekhome said that “what the apex court did was to deepen, widen and strengthen democracy and our democratic precepts.
“It shows that parties must maintain internal democracy and cannot whimsically, capriciously and arbitrarily operate outside their constitution, guidelines, the Electoral Act and the Constitution.”
The learned silk said that the Supreme Court’s judgment had redefined the country’s jurisprudence. “When a party damages its primaries, it can never reap the proceeds of its illegalities. That is why and how the PDP that came second has today produced the governor, all senators, all House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates today in one fell swoop. All glory and full adoration belong to God,” he said.
In a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared PDP that came second as the winner of all the posts earlier declared to have been won by the APC candidates.
Justice Paul Galinje, who read the lead judgment 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.
He described the votes polled by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted, adding that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.
The contested positions were the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.
APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of the Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for, with the People’s Democratic Party’s candidates, coming second at the polls.