The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday released the final list of gubernatorial candidates and House of Assembly candidates for the March 2 election with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in both Rivers and Zamfara States conspicuously missing.
But Senator Buruji Kashamu again floored the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), making the final list of the commission as the Ogun State gubernatorial candidate of the party.
The electoral body had in a statement on Wednesday revealed that having reviewed the two court judgments delivered last week by a Federal High Court in Abuja and Zamfara State High Court in Gusau, the ruling APC did not conduct party primaries in the state.
The statement signed by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, also revealed that a meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) would take place next week to further review the state of preparedness of each state.
He stated: “INEC met today, 30th January 2019 and, among other things, approved the final list of candidates for the governorship, state assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled to hold on 2nd of March 2019. On the whole, there are 1,066 candidates for the governorship elections, 14,583 for the state assembly elections and 806 for the FCT Area Council elections broken down into 105 chairmanship candidates and 701 councillorship candidates.
“The commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgments, even when it disagrees with them. However, these are clearly two contradictory judgments delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day.
“The commission reviewed the situation concerning the APC fielding candidates for the governorship and state assembly elections in Zamfara State. Commission noted that there are two court judgments on the matter – one from a State High Court in Gusau and the other from a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“The former judgment clearly said that the APC conducted primaries in Zamfara State, contrary to the position of the commission. On the other hand, the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections.
“Consequently, the commission has decided to maintain its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and, therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, governorship and state assembly elections in Zamfara State,” Okoye added.