The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has complied with the Friday Supreme Court ruling by declaring the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winners of Governorship, Senatorial and House of Representatives for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara State.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference on Saturday in Abuja, affirmed that the decision was in compliance with the Friday Judgment of the Supreme Court that nullified the votes of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara in the election.
The Supreme Court on Friday invalidated the participation of the APC in the last Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Zamfara.
Justice Paul Galinji, delivering the lead judgment in Abuja, held that the APC and all its candidates that participated in the elections gate-crashed, having not conducted lawful primaries.
He said that INEC was right to not have recognised the participation of APC in those elections.
Galinji, therefore, ordered that all the political parties whose candidates scored the second highest votes in the elections and the required spread should be declared winners forthwith.
Yakubu said that following the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Commission had met in two emergency sessions and taken briefings from its lawyers and staff on the implementation of the judgment.
He said that the legislative elections were straight forward to deal with because” they entail first-past-the-post or simple majority of votes”.
The INEC Chairman, however, said that “the governorship election is determined not just by majority votes but also spread in accordance with Section 179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“This means that we had to first discount the votes cast for the APC at the elections and then carefully rework the spread by Local Government Areas based on the new valid votes.
“In compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, the Commission has now determined the winners of the elections in Zamfara State as follows:”
He declared that the governorship election was won by Dr Bello Matawalle of the PDP and Mahdi Gusau as his deputy.
He also declared PDP candidates as winners of three Senatorial Districts in the state which included Alhaji Ya’u Sahabi for Zamfara North, Mohammed Hassan, for Zamfara Central and Lawali Anka winner of Zamfara West Senatorial District.
PDP candidates declared as winners of House of Representatives election in the state were Umar Dan-Galadima for Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency, Bello Shinkafi(Shinkafi/Zurmi) and Kabiru Amadu (Gusau/Tsafe).
Also declared winners of the House of Representatives election were Shehu Ahmed for Bungudu/Maru federal constituency; Kabiru Yahaya-Anka/Talata Mafara; Ahmed Bakura -Bakura/Maradun; and Sulaiman Gumi for Gummi/Bukkuyum federal constituency.
Yakubu also declared PDP candidates winners of all the State House of Assembly 24 seats, except for Maru South won by Kabiru Hashimu of the National Rescue Movement (NRM).
Yakubu disclosed that the Commission would issue Certificates of Return to the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect; Senators-elect and Members of the House of Representatives-elect on Monday May 27 at the Commission’s Electoral Institute in Abuja at 2pm.
“Members of the State House of Assembly-elect will receive their certificates from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Zamfara State at the INEC State Office in Gusau on Friday, May 31 at 10am.
Yakubu, who drew the attention of all stakeholders, particularly the political parties, to the implications of the Supreme Court judgment on the Zamfara matter, advised them to keep to INEC guidelines in the conduct of their primaries.
He said it was clear that properly conducted party primaries were cardinal to the proper internal functioning of political parties, the electoral process and the country’s democratic system at large.
“Therefore, political parties must take very seriously the conduct of primaries according to all extant rules, including the monitoring of the processes by INEC to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience.
“I want therefore to remind us that the Commission has since April 9, 2019 issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections by which party primaries are scheduled to hold between the 2nd and 29th August 2019.
“I appeal to political parties intending to field candidates in the elections to adhere strictly to this and other timelines in the Timetable and Schedule of activities.