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S’court overturns a’court verdict, affirms Dauda Lawal as Zamfara governor

Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara state Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara state

The supreme court has affirmed Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the validly elected governor of Zamfara state.

The court’s five-member panel overturned the judgment of the court of appeal which declared the Zamfara gubernatorial election inconclusive.

The court described the judgment of the appellate court as “perverse”, and ruled in favour of the appeal filed by Lawal and his party.

BACKGROUND

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In March 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Lawal as the winner of the Zamfara governorship election with 377,726 votes.

Bello Matawalle, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), 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 wards.

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In September 2023, the tribunal held that the petition was devoid of merit and a N500,000 fine was awarded against the petitioners.

In November 2023, the court of appeal sitting in Abuja declared the Zamfara governorship election inconclusive.

The three-member panel of the appellate court unanimously annulled the victory of Lawal and ordered INEC to hold a fresh election in three LGAs.

The local governments are Maradun, Birnin-Magaji and Bukyun.

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