The Zamfara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Sokoto, has affirmed the victory of Governor Dauda Lawal-Dare as the duly elected Governor of Zamfara State.
On March 21, INEC declared the PDP Candidate, Lawal-Dare winner with 377726 votes against the incumbent, Matawalle’s 311976 votes in the 18th March Governorship poll.
Matawalle and the All Progressives Congress (APC) his Party, on 10th April, petitioned the tribunal (EPT/ZM/GOV/02/2023), challenging the validity of the election that produced the victory of Lawal-Dare.
Through his team led by Usman O. Sule SAN, the Petitioners accused INEC of subverting his/APC victory at the polls, for failure to include the results of some ward areas, which if added will have given him victory with a wide margin.
The Petitioners claimed that the total number of accredited voters in Maradun LGA as contained in the duplicate of form EC8C given to his agents was 101652 voters. In his petition, Matawalle aver that he scored 98564 votes against Lawal-Dare’s 618 votes, and not 24855 votes against Lawal-Dare’s 12261 votes as recorded by the 3rd respondent (INEC).
Maradun is the home LGA of the 1st petitioner, Bello Matawalle who is currently the Minister of State for Defence.
The three-man tribunal led by Justice Binta Fatima Zubairu (who will be sworn-in as an Appeal Court Judge on Sept 20) unanimously resolved that the petitioners have failed to prove how they won the election with the majority lawful votes cast at the election and thereby dismissed same.
Other members of the panel are: Justices Okey I. Nwamoh and A.Y. Ajanaku Makun.