• Affirms election of Kano NNPP lawmaker

Zamfara Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, yesterday, dismissed the petition filed against Governor Dauda Lawal, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Bello Matawalle.

The tribunal chairperson, Cordelia Ogadi, who led two other members, dismissed the petition for lack of merit and inability of the petitioners to prove their case as required by law.

It held that the petitioners also failed to prove allegation of irregularities during the polls and awarded N500,000 cost to be paid by the petitioners to each of the three respondents.

The respondents are Lawal, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Matawalle, immediate past governor of the state and his party, APC, had filed the petition contending that the governorship election was marred with irregularities and Lawal did not score majority of lawful votes.

Delivering the lead judgment, Ogadi held that the petitioners were unable to prove allegations of over-voting and other malpractices, stressing that the burden of proof was solely on the petitioners.

She said the petitioners were also unable to prove allegations of substantial non-compliance of the poll to the provisions of the Electoral Act that would affect the overall outcome of its result.

According to her, all the arguments were considered and the case decided based on the constitutional requirements as well as the provisions of the electoral laws.

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She, therefore, dismissed the petition for lack of merit and awarded the cost against the petitioners.

The petitioners had alleged that the March 18 governorship election was flawed with irregularities and sought the tribunal’s order nullifying the return of Lawal as winner of the poll by INEC.

They also sought the order of the court declaring Matawalle winner of the said election on the grounds that he scored the majority of the lawful votes.

The petitioners prayed the tribunal to mandate INEC to issue Matawalle certificate of return.

In another judgment, a tribunal, affirmed the election of Mudassir Zawachiki of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as lawmaker representing Kumbotso constituency in the Kano State House of Assembly.

In its unanimous judgment, the three-man panel, led by L. B. Owolabi, dismissed the petition of Sagir Abdulkadir-Panshekara of APC, challenging the victory of Zawachiki in the March 18, 2023.

He said the petitioner’s case lacked merit and did not prove the case of over voting, violence and certificate forgery beyond reasonable doubt.

“The petitioner failed to prove non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act and other irregularities.

Reacting, Zawachiki, shortly after his victory, said: “I thank Almighty God the truth has prevailed. I will continue to do my best to justify the confidence reposed in me.”