In the list released by INEC, on Thursday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had no candidates in both Rivers and Zamfara states.
A source at the commission said they were obeying court orders as a law-abiding organisation. Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had directed INEC to exclude APC from the election, sequel to a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to compel INEC to obey the judgement of the Rivers State High Court that declared the APC congresses and primaries in Rivers State void. The party has already filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt seeking a stay of execution of Omotosho’s injunction. The court fixed Tuesday, February 5 to rule on the motion for stay of execution of the judgement of the high court, which barred Rivers APC from fielding candidates for the elections.
Likewise, a federal high court in Abuja had ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries in Zamfara and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections. The APC governorship aspirants in Zamfara State, yesterday, insisted that INEC lacks the power to stop them from contesting in the forthcoming election. Aminu Jaji, told reporters in Abuja that the party complied with laid down rules in the choice of its flagbearers in the state. He insisted that the APC settled for a consensus arrangement after series of efforts to conduct primaries using both the direct and indirect mode failed and the consensus arrangement was endorsed by the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC). He said “the APC had a consensus arrangement that was very clear. We had three options: direct, indirect and consensus. And we settled for consensus, so as not to lose participation. Our own stand is that the party did the right thing. “That is what the party’s constitution says.” They expressed optimism that the Court of Appeal would surely deliver a favourable ruling on their appeal before February 12.
There are a total of 1,066 candidates for the governorship elections to be conducted in 29 states.
The candidates list was unveiled about a month to the governorship election scheduled to hold on March 2.
The commission also announced candidates for the various state houses of assembly.
There are a total of 14,583 candidates for the state assembly election scheduled to hold alongside the governorship poll.
Click the links below for the list of candidates