Nigeria’s Supreme court has rejected a rare application brought before it by the All Progressive’s Congress (APC) seeking that it sets aside its judgment nullifying the candidature of the APC in the Zamfara state elections.
Backstory: Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour denied the application by APC’s lawyer Robert Clarke (SAN) for a reversal of the ruling in a May 24 judgement. The PDP praised the judgement and called the APC’s motion as an attempt at subverting democratic institutions and constituting a “direct threat to our democracy, peace and stability of our nation.”
- The Supreme court previously set aside the election of all APC’s candidates in Zamfara State on the grounds that the APC candidates in the states were not qualified to have participated in the 2019 general election because they were not products of a lawful primary election.
- The judgment of May 24, in effect, had automatically awarded a win to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in the state, including Gov. Bello Matawalle of the PDP. Former Governor Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari lost his senate seat automatically too.
The APC is not giving up: APC’s lawyer, Robert Clarke, notes that the party “will come back” to the Supreme Court. According to him, the ruling of the Supreme Court was not against the merit of the suit but about the order of the application.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that there were five judgements and we only produced one of the five. It therefore does not fall within the rules of the court to listen to us. So the matter was never taken on its merits. What the court said is that we have not tidied ourselves up properly,” Robert Clarke said.
Bottomline: Usually the apex court does not reverse itself. While the May 24 ruling seems to uphold this principle, it appears that the APC is willing to go as far as possible to put this to test with a third return to the court. The Zamfara loss still hurts the APC badly because winning the state was always guaranteed for the party.