Supreme Court affirms Dauda Lawal as Zamfara Governor

THE Supreme Court has overturned the Appeal Court’s decision declaring the Zamfara state governorship election inconclusive.

In a lead judgment delivered by Emmanuel Agim, one of the court’s justices, the apex court described the appellate court’s verdict, which declared the state governorship election of March 18, 2023, inclusive as ‘perverse’.

It also ruled that the governor, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dauda Lawal, secured the majority of lawful votes and was rightly declared the election winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The ICIR reported that the earlier judgment by the Appeal Court opposed the Zamfara state governorship election petitions tribunal ruling.

On Thursday, November 16, the Appeal Court declared the governorship election inconclusive and ordered a re-run in three local government areas (LGAs). The LGAs are Maradun, Birnin-Magaji, and Bukyun.

The decision conflicted with the tribunal’s ruling, upholding Lawal’s victory and dismissing the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Bello Matawalle, in the election.

The court also imposed a N500,000 fine on the petitioner.

Following Lawal’s declaration as the election winner by INEC, Matawalle contested the election results at the tribunal and Appeal Court.

Through his party – the APC – Lawal won at the tribunal, forcing him to appeal the ruling.

In its judgment, the three-member panel of the Appeal Court held that the tribunal failed to adequately consider the evidence presented by the appellants – the APC.






     

     

    The court also said it was wrong for INEC to rely on information it obtained from its IReV portal to collate the final result of the governorship election.

    The court further dismissed the results provided by the APC and INEC for Maradun LGA.

    On August 17, The ICIR reported that President Bola Tinubu appointed Matawalle as the Minister of State for Defence.

    Zamfara is among Nigerian states worst hit by insecurity. The menace began under Matawalle, and it has continued under Lawal’s watch.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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