The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Thursday declared the Zamfara state governorship election inconclusive.
The verdict was delivered by a 3-man panel of Justices, led by Justice Oyebisi Folayemi and supported by Cordelia Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo and Sybil Nwaka Gbagi.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Dauda Lawal of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Bello Matawalle, had challenged the outcome of the March 18 governorship election at the tribunal but his petition was dismissed for lacking in merit.
Delivering the judgment, Thursday, the Court of Appeal declared the election as inconclusive and ordered INEC to hold a fresh election in two local governments.
Matawalle was defeated with over 65,000 votes at the March 18 gubernatorial election as announced by the INEC.
In the results, Lawal of the PDP got 377,726 votes, while Matawalle of APC scored 311, 976 votes.
The Zamfara State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had, September 18, affirmed the election of Lawal.
…Kano on Friday November 17, 2023
Also, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja will give its judgment Friday in an appeal filed by the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) challenging the decision of the Kano Governorship Election Petition tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay.
The judgment will be delivered at 10am.
The Osadebey-led tribunal had nullified 165,663 of Yusuf’s votes on the ground that they were not signed or stamped by the INEC.
Consequent upon this, the governor’s vote count got deducted to 853,939, while Nasiru Gawuna’s 890,705 votes remained unchanged.
But rejecting the judgment, Governor Yusuf described it as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice,”and appealed the verdict.
At the legal firepower session, NNPP’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, asked that the tribunal’s decision be nullified, saying the tribunal’s decision was unprecedented in history.
The silk further submitted that the tribunal erred by allowing a political party to file a petition without including its candidate as a party, a position opposed by Akin Olujimi, SAN.
He argued that INEC regulations were clear of duties of presiding officers at voting point, insisting the back of ballot papers must be signed and dated.
In all of these, both Yusuf and Gawuna stand to know the fate at the end of the appellate court’s sitting today.