The Forum of Patriotic Citizens, Zamfara State Chapter, are calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Judiciary, the APC and all other relevant stakeholders to take immediate steps to sanitise the electoral process to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the 2023. 

The forum disclosed this in a press conference in Kaduna after a meeting of its executives as part of its preparations to ginger its members across the 19 northern states.

Members of the forum have expressed delight over the recent judgments which disqualified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship candidate Dauda a Lawal Dare, and a member of the House of Reps Sani Dangaladima of Birnin Magaji / Kaura Namoda federal constituency, for gross violation of extant laws guiding electoral processes. 

Members also rose from the meeting with firm commitment and intention to take the remaining five members of the House of Reps from Zamfara state who are still members of All Progressives Congress (APC), but secured nominations to recontest their current positions in the forthcoming 2023 elections under PDP, to court. 

Earlier in July 2021, the five federal lawmakers had publicly announced their defection from the PDP at the floor of the House. After failing to secure the tickets under the APC, they went back to PDP and secured their tickets, without actually reverting back their defection to the PDP.

The five embattled and incumbent House of Representatives members are notably Kabiru Amadu Mai Palace (Gusau/Tsafe Federal Constituency), Shehu Ahmed (Bungudu/Maru), Engr Sulaiman Abubakar Gummi (Gummi/Bukkuyum Federal Constituency), Ahmed Muhammad Bakura (Bakura Maradun Federal Constituency), and Bello Moriki (Shinkafi /Zurmi Federal Constituency). 

Official documents revealed that Mr Shehu Ahmed had officially announced his defection from PDP to APC in a letter dated 15 July 2021, and addressed to House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. The letter was read by Speaker Gbajabiamila at the plenary. 

On the other hand, Messrs Shinkafi, Bakura, Gummi and Mai Palace had officially communicated their defections from PDP to APC through a letter dated 16 July 2021 and read by Speaker Gbajabiamila at the plenary. 

They, however, failed to defect back to the PDP before seeking and grabbing the PDP tickets as required by the relevant constitutional and electoral laws.

The lawmakers had unambiguously cited the recurring and endless imbroglio eating the PDP’s fabric as their locus for cross carpeting to the APC. 

Our resolve to call for the disqualification of the nominations of the five lawmakers was premised on Monday judgement delivered by a Federal High Court in Abuja which nullified the nomination of another PDP House of Representatives member, Sani Umar Dan Galadima, as the candidate of the PDP for Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, for 2023 elections. 

The court, presided over by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, sacked Dangaladima on the account of being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the time he stood for the primary election in PDP.

Justice Ekwo nullified the victory of the lawmaker at the PDP primary election while delivering judgment in a suit instituted against him by two chieftains of PDP, Muzammil Mohammed Idris and Ibrahim Sani.

Justice Ekwo held that the lawmaker, having not resigned, defected or cross-carpeted from APC to PDP within the time stipulated by law, was not a lawful member of PDP and cannot stand for any election on its platform.

The judge invoked section 221 of the 1999 Constitution, section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 and Article 50 (4) of the PDP to nullify the primary election of the PDP that produced him.

The court held that from the point of law, the lawmaker ought to have relinquished his APC membership 30 days before the primary election of the PDP before he could qualify as a valid candidate for PDP.

Coincidentally, the Zamfara PDP is currently before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking for the nulification of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle's election along with all those who defected with him from PDP to APC, on grounds they were elected on the platform of the PDP.

Our forum is poised to pursue all legal and democratic avenues to ensure that rule of law, good governance and democratic principles are upheld and respected by all and sundry. 


Lawal Mustapha Tsafe
Publicity Secretary 
Forum of Patriotic Citizens, Zamfara State Chapter

November 24, 2022.

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