The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the All Progressives Congress (APC), participation in 2019 elections and declared the party with second highest votes as the winner of the Zamfara elections.
Backstory: The court nullified all votes cast for the party during the general elections at the state level for both governorship and state assembly positions.
The appeal was filed by Mukhtar Shehu challenging the judgment of a Sokoto Appeal Court which had previously nullified the ruling party’s primaries in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had withheld certificates of return following the ruling by the Appeal Court in Sokoto.
The five-man panel at the Supreme Court, led by Tanko Muhammad, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, has now ruled that the APC did not conduct valid primaries in the build-up to the elections.
Meanwhile, Bello Matawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the second highest number of votes, 189,452 out of a total of 792,938 valid votes.
What this means: Everything being equal, INEC will declare Matawalle the winner of the Zamfara governorship polls, in a big blow for the ruling APC. The PDP which has never won a governorship election in Zamfara state (although former Gov. Mahmud Shinkafi defected to the party before the 2011 elections and then lost reelection) will now get its chance. Also, the PDP which was runner-up in most of the state assembly and national assembly polls is now expected to become the ruling party across board.