The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will wait for the directive of the Supreme Court before taking action concerning members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who won elections in Zamfara state.
Backstory: A state High Court in Zamfara recognized the primary elections which produced governorship, state and National Assembly candidates by the APC faction loyal to Governor Abdulaziz Yari. It ordered INEC to accept the party candidates for the elections, and INEC complied.
- However, weeks after the polls, the Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto on Monday set aside the judgment and nullified the APC primary elections.
INEC’s immediate actions: The electoral agency has suspended the presentation of Certificates of Return to the governor, deputy governor and state House of Assembly members-elect on the platform of the APC in the state.
- For senators-elect and Reps-elect who have already received their certificates, INEC says they would hold onto it for now pending the Supreme Court ruling.
Per the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity Committee, Festus Okoye: “INEC will wait and enforce the orders and judgments of the Supreme Court.”
Why it matters: According to Okoye, “the Supreme Court may order the swearing in of the candidates of the parties that came second in the election and regard the votes scored by APC as wasted votes… The commission’s decisions and opinions are subject to the interpretative jurisdiction of the court. And the commission has no choice but to abide with the said decisions.”