Five days to the May 29 swearing in of President Muhammadu Buhari and newly elected governors across the country, the governor elect and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the last governorship election in Zamfara state, has been hit with a misfortune: Mukhtar Idris will not be sworn-in as governor of the state.
The APC candidate is the preferred successor of out-going Governor Abdulaziz Yari.
Idris is not the only politician in the ruling APC that has been hit with this tsunami of election losses, the election of Governor Yari, two senators elect and all elected members of the house of representatives have now been cancelled by the Supreme court.
Also, the lawmakers elected on the party’s platform to the state’s house of assembly are affected by this ruling.
The apex court few minutes ago, declared their election void over what it described as invalid conduct of the primaries from which all the candidates emerged last year.
With the ruling, the politicians have joined their counterparts in Rivers state who were also barred by the highest court in the land over controversial primaries.
Rivers’ APC was barred by the court from fielding candidates for the general election held in March.
The supreme court in its judgment on Friday ruled that the APC failed to conduct valid primaries in the build up to the 2019 general elections in the state.
The panel was headed by the Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Tanko Mohammed while the judgment was read by Justice Paul Galinge, who in the ruling berated the APC for conducting a shoddy primaries.
The judgment validated the earlier one by the court of appeal, Sokoto Division, which ruled that no valid primaries were conducted by the ruling party in Zamfara state.
The election tribunal had also invalidated the elections of the APC candidates in the last general election.
According to the unanimous judgment handed down by a five member panel, the apex court said APC had no valid candidate for the election, therefore its governorship candidate could not have emerged winner.
What this means, the court ruled, is that the candidate of the PDP in the election, Bello Matawallen-Maradun, a former member of the House of Representatives won the election and has been returned as governor.
“Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stands elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the five man panel ruled.
The PDP candidate came second in the election and as it’s, he will be the one to be sworn in on May 29 as successor of outgoing Governor Yari, who had earlier on Wednesday, stepped down as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF.
Recall that the APC candidate had been declared winner and returned by the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Idris was declared winner by INEC after polling 534,541 votes despite controversies trailing his emergence as the APC governorship candidate for that election.