Appeal Court Affirms Abdulrazaq As Kwara APC Gov. Candidate

Appeal Court Affirms Abdulrazaq As Kwara APC Gov. Candidate

The Court of Appeal in Ilorin on Tuesday affirmed Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s election as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the governorship poll in Kwara State on March 2, after setting aside an earlier ruling by the Kwara State High Court.

The Court of Appeal also held that the state high court lacked jurisdiction to entertain any suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission.

In a unanimous decision on the interlocutory appeal filed by the APC, the Court of Appeal held that the ratification of Abdulrazaq as the governorship candidate of the party by the National Working Committee of APC was in order.

However, the Ishola Balogun-Fulani faction of the party said they would challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court.

Justice Hamma Barka, who read the ruling of the appellate court, said the originating summons by the Balogun-Fulani faction was not sealed by the registry and that robbed the court of jurisdiction.

He upheld the four grounds of the appeal filed by the APC faction led by Bashir Bolarinwa and set aside the ruling of the state high court on October 24, 2018.

Justice Barka said a state executive committee of a party was just a branch of its national headquarters and so had no power or right to conduct any presidential, governorship, National Assembly and state House of Assembly primary elections.

The Appeal Court said Balogun-Fulani’s case was defective in all ramifications because the originating summons was incurably defective.

The secretary of the Balogun-Fulani faction, Christopher Ayeni, told our correspondent that they were not satisfied with the judgement of the Appeal Court disqualifying the candidates produced by them for the general elections.

Ayeni said, “We are aware of the judgement and our lawyers are discussing the way forward, but definitely, we are going to challenge it at the Supreme Court which is the highest court in Nigeria.”

In a statement, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said, “The ruling gives our teeming supporters and the good people of Kwara the added momentum to free the state from the grip of self-appointed leaders who have held Kwara backward for years.

“Nigerians will recall Saraki’s shameless attempt to hijack and sabotage the APC structure in Kwara State through his political mercenaries parading themselves as the Ishola Balogun-Fulani-led party executives in the state. That plan has failed woefully as a new Kwara beckons.

“It is heartwarming that Saraki is seeing the limits of impunity as Kwarans prepare for long-awaited freedom, progress and development under a progressive APC dispensation.”

The APC Field Operations Directorate of the Presidential Campaign Council in the state also applauded the judgement.

A statement by Kayode Oyin-Zubair, Deputy Coordinator, Field Operations Directorate said, “The judgement couldn’t have stood further judicial tests. We knew from the outset that the whole process was orchestrated to weaken our support base and cause confusion amongst our supporters.

“The authenticity of the Bashir Bolarinwa executive has been affirmed by the appellate court. Earlier today, an end was put to the shenanigans of Saraki and his cohorts in Kwara State.”

Ayeni said, “We are aware of the judgement and our lawyers are discussing the way forward, but definitely, we are going to challenge it at the Supreme Court which is the highest court in Nigeria.”

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