The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Sen. Kabiru Garba Marafa, has written the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, over the delay in the constitution of a panel to entertain the Zamfara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries tussle.
Marafa, in a letter by signed his counsel and dated March 13, 2019, said the delay in the constitution of the panel is likely to deny him justice.
The case number ‘CA/32/2019/Sen. Kabiru Garba Marafa & 142 others’ was part of the pre-election litigations that trailed the failure of the APC to conduct primaries/consensus in Zamfara state.
The letter reads:
“My lord, refer to our letter of concern in which we had respectfully requested that the present panel hearing the above appeal recuses itself for the reasons already humbly adumbrated in the said attached letter dated 4th March 2019.
The appeal came up on the 13th March 2019, before the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal.
My lord to our surprise, the court did not sit but merely sent the court Registrar to inform all counsels and parties concerned that it had recused itself from hearing the appeal; but without any word as to the constitution of another panel to hear the appeal or as to what date the matter will now come up for hearing before a new panel.
This letter is, therefore, an SOS to your lordship to kindly and urgently constitute a new panel to hear our client’s appeal.
The urgency of this letter and your timeous action are underlined by the very fact that this appeal is constitutionally time-lined and same will expire on the 27th March 2019, constitutional effluxion of time.
Where that happens, the appeal itself would lapse and die prematurely due to no fault of the appellants.
We, therefore, respectfully, appeal to your lordship to kindly and urgently constitute a new panel to hear our appeal immediately.
We look forward to your kind and timeous action.”
Further explaining, Marafa said:
“There is a grand conspiracy by the Zamfara State government with the active support of some former governors and some Abuja politicians to frustrate the case so that the 60 days for pre-election matters will elapse.
What that means is the case will die a ‘natural’ death and the aggrieved party will not have the chance of going to the Supreme Court for redress.
The APC constitution vested the powers to conduct primary elections on its NWC, but the whole world witnessed Gov. Yari live on Channels Television with the chairman of his faction, who is now a ‘member elect’ for the Kaura Namoda constituency in the State House of Assembly, announcing result of a so-called primaries conducted by the state chapter of the APC (Yari Faction), in the premises of their factional headquarters.
This is clearly against our constitution and the party’s constitution,” he said.
Marafa, therefore, called on the acting Chief Justice of the Federation and the Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC), to, as a matter of all urgency, intervene and ensure the panel is constituted and the matter given accelerated hearing.
“Looking at the whole issue and the plight of the people of Zamfara State, the matter should be allowed to get to its logical conclusion, in the interest of justice and fair hearing,” he concluded.