Supreme Court affirms Zamfara governor’s victory

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Dauda Lawal

The Supreme Court has affirmed the victory of Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State.

In affirming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate’s victory, the apex court set aside the Court of Appeal judgement that declared the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state as inconclusive and ordered a re-run in three local government areas of the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Lawal the winner of the election with 377,726 votes while Bello Matawalle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 311,976 votes.

Dissatisfied with INEC’s decision, Matawalle approached the Zamfara State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the electoral umpire’s decision on September 18.

Matawalle subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal, which partly granted his prayers by declaring the election inconclusive and declaring a rerun in three local government areas – Maradun, Birnin-Magaji, and  Bukkuyum.

It was Lawal’s turn to appeal to the Supreme Court, which delivered its judgement today.

Reading the lead judgment at the apex court, Emmanuel Agim described the decision of the appeal court as perverse.

He held that the respondents did not provide substantial evidence to prove their allegations of overvoting, among others.

“The court of appeal decision is perverse. Has no evidential foundation. Although the appeal has merit, it succeeds, and it is allowed.

“The order that the election is inclusive is hereby set aside. The election of the appellant is upheld,” Justice Agim said.


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