The Supreme Court has declared Dauda Lawal as the validly elected Governor of Zamfara state, having set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which declared his election inconclusive.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgment on Friday, held that
“The decision of the Court of Appeal in declaring the election inconclusive “is perversed.”
The judgement was on an appeal by Lawal, seeking redress over the decision of the Court of Appeal, which had on November 16, declared the Zamfara gubernatorial election as inconclusive.
Justice Agim stated that “The appeal has merit, it subsists and it is hereby allowed.
“The judgement that the election was inconclusive is hereby set aside.
“The order setting aside and order that rerun election be held is set aside” Justice Agim ordered.
Recall that a three-member panel of the appellate court had unanimously annulled the victory of Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Lawal as the winner of the March 18 election with 377,726 votes.
However, Bello Matawalle, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, who polled 311,976 votes, challenged the outcome of the poll.
Matawalle, now Minister of State for Defence, had accused INEC of subverting his victory at the poll by failing to include the results of some ward areas.
On September 18, the Tribunal held that Matawalle’s petition was devoid of merit and also awarded the sum of N500,000 fine against him.
But Matawalle and the APC filed an appeal challenging the decision of the tribunal, wherein the Court of Appeal held that the Zamfara State Election Petitions Tribunal did not consider the evidence provided by the appellants.
Consequently, the court below declared the election as inconclusive and ordered INEC to hold a fresh election in three LGAs.
The local governments are Maradun, Birnin-Magaji and Bukyun.