Supreme Court upholds election of Dauda Lawal as Zamfara governor

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Supreme Court upholds election of Dauda Lawal as Zamfara governor
Gov. Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the Zamfara 2023 governorship poll.

The five-member panel of justices in a judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, set aside the judgment of the Court of appeal that declared the 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.

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NAN reports that 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.

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.

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

Victory for Zamfara People, says Lawal

Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal has called on the opposition party to collaborate with his administration on its rescue mission.

“The Supreme Court verdict on Friday is a victory for the people of Zamfara,” the Governor said in a statement.

The apex court in its judgment set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja, which had declared the Zamfara governorship election inconclusive.

But delivering the lead decision of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Emmanuel Agim described the judgement of the lower court as “perverse and lacked evidential foundation.”

In a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, Lawal described the Supreme Court verdict as a reflection of the people’s desire for positive development and progress.

According to him, working together is critical to achieving sustainable development in the state.

According to the Governor, “I am thrilled to have received affirmation of my election by the Supreme Court today.

“This verdict will boost our morale in fulfilling our campaign promises.

“Today’s victory is confirmation of the collective decision made by the people of Zamfara State during the governorship election held in March last year.

“This victory is for all the people of Zamfara State.

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“By my campaign manifesto which serves as a guide for our rescue mission, my administration has taken swift action to liberate Zamfara from the shackles of poor governance.

“I urge all people of Zamfara, including opposition parties, to unite and work together to rebuild and restore the state.

“My administration is on a mission to rebuild the state, and the Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for

the people who trusted me.

“The success of our collective efforts depends on the active collaboration of all stakeholders.

“Let us prioritise collaboration and work towards a better future for our state.”