Nigeria: Malami, Oshiomhole Write INEC, Want Zamfara APC Candidates Recognised

14 February 2019

Nigeria's attorney general and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to accept candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for various offices in Zamfara State.

The letter dated February 13, 2019, was personally signed by Mr Malami.

In a separate letter with the same date, APC's national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, forwarded names of APC candidates from the state, asking the commission to accept them.

It is not clear if both letters have been delivered to the electoral commission as they were shared by persons close to Mr Malami and Mr Oshiomhole.

In his letter, Mr Malami also requested for extension of time to allow Zamfara chapter of the party to "catch up".

The justice minister said he based his recommendation on Sections 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act.

He said by the provisions of the sections, INEC is in a position to grant an extension of time for the Zamfara State chapter of the party due to unforeseen delays.

He also called the attention of INEC to a decision of the Court of Appeal in Sokoto of Wednesday which, he claimed, upheld the validity of the Zamfara State candidates.

"Consequently on the above, INEC is invited to comply with judgment of the Court of Appeal by admitting the results of the APC Zamfara state primaries and to also comply with the provisions S.38 of the Electoral Act which empowers INEC to postpone the election of the governorship, National Assembly and House of Assembly elections," Mr Malami wrote.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier clarified the alleged ruling of the appeal court on Wednesday. Contrary to the attorney general's claim, the appeal court did not rule on the substantive matter of whether APC should be allowed to have candidates in Zamfara, the court simply dismissed an appeal by an interested party after the appellant withdrew the case.

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