AGF Malami defends request for INEC to shift elections in Zamfara state

AGF Malami defends request for INEC to shift elections in Zamfara state

- Abubakar Malami insists that he was right to have written INEC to postpone the general elections in Zamfara

- Malami says he did not ask that the presidential election in the state be shifted

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) says the letter to INEC is based on a subsisting decision of the appeal court

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), has reportedly defended his demand for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the general elections in Zamfara apart from that of the president.

Legit.ng reports that Malami made the explanation following criticisms that trailed his earlier position asking that the exercise in the state be shifted.

Malami argued that his letter to INEC demanding for a shift in the election was in order.

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Premium Times reports that a statement from Malami’ spokesperson, Salihu Isah, quoted the minister as saying he only called for the postponement of the other elections and not that of the president.

“In our letter dated 13th February 2019 addressed to the INEC chairman, the AGF in reacting to a petition from MA Mahmud informing this office of the subsisting Court of Appeal decision in CA/S/22/2019, which effectively upheld the APC primaries in Zamfara State, wrote to INEC informing them of this development and requested the commission to comply by extending the time within which the political party may field its candidate in the gubernatorial elections,” the statement said while arguing that INEC’s initial reason for stopping the APC from fielding candidates in the state had been overtaken by the appeal court ruling.

“It is, therefore, our position that shutting a candidate out of the elections despite a subsisting Court of Appeal’s decision mandating otherwise would lead to a miscarriage of justice and certainly not in the interest of giving all parties in Zamfara state a level playing field. Our letter to INEC is, therefore, in line with the subsisting Court of Appeal’s decision as well as Sections 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act, 2010,” the justice minister wrote.

“It is at this point mandatory to reiterate that the issue for contention by the parties before the trial and appellate court were in no way and by no stretch of imagination extend to the presidential election, which at any rate was not an issue contemplated for determination by the trial and appellate court.

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“It is, therefore, obvious that what the insinuations in the social media and some conventional news outlets set out to achieve on the strength of this issue is to confuse the electorate and Nigerians at large and/or to portray the ruling government as insensitive to the electoral process,” he said in the statement.

Legit.ng earlier reported that Abubakar Malami (SAN) earlier asked INEC to allow the APC in Zamfara field candidates for the general elections.

Malami, who doubles as the minister of justice, made the call in a letter to INEC dated February 13, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The minister said that INEC could not foreclose the right of a political party to participate in elections without recourse to the act.

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Source: Legit.ng

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