Musa Na Allah Sokoto
Zamfara State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Sokoto has Monday affirmed the election of Governor Dauda Lawal as dully elected Governor of the State.
Chairman of the 3 man Tribúnal Justice Cordelia Ogadi while delivering Judgment in Sokoto dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) Gubernatorial candidate, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, challenging the outcome of the March 18 Governorship election for lack of substance and of no effect.
The Court furthermore awarded a fine of N500,00 to the petitioner, former Governor Matawallen.
The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Cordelia Ogadi, who read the judgement said the petitioner has not proven his allegation beyond reasonable doubt of wrongful collation of results, exclusion of results for Maradun local government area, and that election not conducted in some wards areas in the state.
The tribunal spent over four hours delivering the judgement and also said the petitioner failed to provide reasonable proof to his claim of non-compliance by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC with the Electoral Act and corrupt way of conducting the election.
All three Justices that made the panel, Justice Cordelia Ogadi, Justice Bello Hassan, and Justice Aliyu Gegele, were all unanimous in their judgement.
The lead counsel to the first respondent, Governor Dauda Lawal, Mr. Solomon Akunna, (SAN) described the judgment as well-considered.
He noted that the reasoning was perfect and the consideration of law could not be impeached.
Akunna further expressed satisfaction with the judgement, while saying the ruling opened a new chapter of development for Zamfara State.
The lead counsel to the petitioner, Usman Sule (SAN) said their client was robbed of his victory and would approach him for further directives.
He said his client after presenting available evidence and tender witnesses at the proceedings was finally robbed of his victory by the Tribúnal.
He added that they still have two ladders to climb, the appeal and Supreme Court where they hope to claim their stolen mandate.
The counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Ishaka Dikko however said the commission has not expected anything short of a credible judgement by the tribunal on Monday.
According to Dikko INEC had conducted free, fair, and credible polls in Zamfara state against the allegation of the APC Gubernatorial candidate Matawallen Maradun.