Zamfara: How the Appeal Court Refreshes Matawalle's Hope to Rule the State Again

Bello Matawalle Zamfara appeal court ruling Dauda Lawal
Bello Matawalle and Dauda Lawal
One of the Nigerian states where the last governorship elections were keenly contested was Zamfara State. In the state, internal political rifts collided with national politics which eventually led to the defeat of the then-sitting Governor Bello Matawalle who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party he defected to from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the party whose candidate, Dauda Lawal won the election.

The Appeal Court ruling on the Zamfara State Governorship Election Petition’s Tribunal Judgment sacked Governor Dauda Lawal in its unanimous judgment delivered by the three-member panel led by Justice Oyebisi Folayemi. Justice Sybil Nwaka who read the lead judgment ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct a fresh election in three local government areas of the state including Birni-Magaji, Bukkuyum, and Maradun citing various forms of irregularities during the first ballot.

Among the cited irregularities include failure to hold elections at some polling units and refusal to count votes cast at the polling units. Results from the affected local government areas leave the seat of the Zamfara State Governorship position opened which could be grabbed by any of Matawalle and Dauda. Recall that in the last election, APC polled 24,855 to defeat PDP which polled 12,261 in Maradun Local Government Area; APC polled 9,643 votes against PDP’s 8,991 in Birni-Magaji while PDP won Bukkuyum with 24,341 votes against APC’s 10,321.

In summary, APC polled 44,819 and PDP 45,593 votes across the affected three local government areas with a margin of 774 votes which will be settled out in the rerun election.

According to the INEC Bello Matawalle of APC polled 311,976 to be defeated by PDP’s Dauda Lawal who polled 377,726 during the Governorship election. This implies APC currently has a total vote of 267,157 and PDP has 332,133 votes after deduction leaving two political parties with a vote margin of 64,976 votes.

However, the affected three local government areas have a voting capacity that is good enough to cause a democratic response to whatever could have been the contribution of Matawalle and Dauda to the politics and policies of Zamfara State since May 29th, 2023.

Dauda Lawal of the PDP and Bello Matawalle who is currently a Minister under the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would be locking horns for the second time to finalize the March 2023 Governorship election in the state. However, if the INEC joins Dauda Lawal and PDP in appealing the case before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the tone of judgment may change but in the case of unanimous judgment as delivered by the Appeal court committee, the Supreme Court is not likely going to void the judgment by the Appeal Court. What could be possible, if included in Bello Matawalle’s petition before the tribunal is the possibility of the Supreme Court outrightly sacking Governor Dauda Lawal with the declaration of Bello Matawalle as the duly elected governor of the state.

Category: World-News
Tag: Bello Matawalle Zamfara appeal court ruling Dauda Lawal
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 11/17/2023 11:53:16 AM

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