Zamfara Governorship: Supreme Court Judgement May Create Constitutional Crisis

By Uche Mbah

The Bombshell from the Supreme Court indicating that the All Progressives Congress, APC, did not hold valid primaries and that all votes cast in favor of the Party are wasted has brought to the fore the precarious position of the Governorship elections in the state.

The Supreme Court has upheld the Appeal Court ruling that the APC did not legally participate in all elections in the state, directing that the party that came second in the elections where the APC won should be declared winner. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, happens to be the party that came second in the elections and has Dr Bello Muhammad Mutawalle as their Governorship Candidate.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has summoned an emergency meeting to discuss the issue, and how to tackle head on the fallout. While other electoral positions may be an easy ride for PDP, the governorship is likely not so. That is because, even though the PDP candidate won the majority of the votes cast after the APC, he failed to score 25% of the votes scored in the local governments in the state. Therefore his scores fell short of his being declared winner. These are part of the issues the INEC is expected to resolve during their deliberations.

What is clear ids that Governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar has lost the election.

One of the options open to INEC in the issue is to organize a rerun for the position. But if a rerun is to be done, with the exit of Yari, somebody has to step in as the governor. Legally, it is the speaker of the state house of Assembly that should be sworn in in the interim. Ironically, the speaker’s tenure expires with that of the governor.

It remains to see how INEC will resolve the legal logjam.

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