The Supreme Court, on Tuesday adjourned till March 2, the hearing of the All Progressives Congress(APC) application seeking the review of the May 24, 2019 judgement which nullified the victory of all the party’s candidates in the 2019 general elections held in Zamfara State.
The five-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, adjourned the hearing after realising that the 141st to the 178th respondents to the application were not represented in court and were not served with the hearing notice.
Others on the panel with the CJN were Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Inyang Okoro, Paul Galumje, and Uwani Abba Aji.
The APC and other applicants were represented by Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) at Tuesday’s proceedings, while Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), represented the Kabiru Marafa faction of the party which obtained the May 24, 2019 judgement that nullified the party’s victory in the 2019 polls.
The Supreme Court had on August 22, 2019 struck out the APC’s application but it was refiled in November 2019 by the party’s counsel.
The five-man panel led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, had on August 22, 2019 unanimously struck out the application on the grounds that it was incompetent as the complete judgements of the apex court comprising all the judgements of the five members of the panel being contested by the party were not attached to the application.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour who delivered the ruling said the applicant only attached the lead judgement and failed to provide exhibits of the consenting judgements of the four other members of the panel which gave the May 24, 2019 verdict.
“By our rules, the application is incompetent, and it is hereby struck out,” he ruled.
The apex court had in a unanimous judgement of the five-man panel led by the then acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, declared that APC never conducted primary elections, thus had no valid candidates for the general elections.
It held that all the votes credited to the party and its candidates in the elections were null and void.
The apex court then declared the first runners-up in the 2019 general elections in the state as the winners of all the offices earlier declared to have been won by the APC and its candidates.
The APC had been declared the winner of the governorship election, as well as the entire three senatorial seats, seven House of Representatives seats and the 24 House of Assembly seats, contested for in the February 23 and March 11, 2019 general elections in the state.
With the governorship and deputy governorship seats which the party had won in the elections, the APC had won all the 36 elective offices available in the state.
The apex court discarded the victories recorded by the APC, adjudged not to have fielded valid candidates for the said election, and gave them to the second runners-up in the polls.
But the APC, through its counsel, Robert Clarke (SAN), filed an application on June 17, 2019, asking the Supreme Court to “review, amend, correct and/or set aside the consequential orders” contained in the May 24, 2019 judgement of the apex court.