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Supreme Court Affirms Dauda Lawal as Zamfara State Governor, Overturns Appeal Court Decision



The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Dauda Lawal from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Zamfara State, overturning the decision of the Appeal Court.

In addressing the allegation of over-voting, the apex court pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to provide essential evidence, such as the voter register, polling unit officer report, and testimony of individuals present at the polling unit.

While faulting the Appeal Court’s judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the election petition tribunal in Zamfara State. The court ruled that Bello Matawalle, the petitioner, did not substantiate his allegations of irregularities.

Matawalle had argued that INEC undermined his victory by omitting the results of certain wards. However, the Supreme Court maintained that he failed to prove these claims.

Last November, the Appeal Court nullified Lawal’s election, but the recent Supreme Court ruling has reinstated his victory in the March 18 governorship election. Lawal secured 377,726 votes, defeating the incumbent, Matawalle of the APC, who garnered 311,976 votes.

Matawalle, currently serving as the Minister of State for Defence, had earlier faced a setback when the Zamfara Election Petitions Tribunal upheld Lawal’s victory and imposed a fine of N500,000 on the petitioners in September. The Supreme Court’s decision settles the legal disputes surrounding the Zamfara governorship election, affirming Lawal’s position as the governor.

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