Six months after he was sworn-in, the Court of Appeal on Thursday in Abuja has sacked Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State.
A 3-man panel of Justices of the Court in a unanimous judgment declared inconclusive, the March 18 Governorship election which produced Lawal as the elected governor.
The court voided and set aside the declaration of Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Justice Sybil Nwaka Gbagiz, who read the lead judgment, ordered that fresh election be conducted at three out of the fourteen local government areas in the State, The affected areas are, Maradun, Birnin-Magaji, and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of the State,
Lawal, of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the March 18 governorship election. In a shocking victory that dislodged then-incumbent Bello Mattawalle of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he polled a total of 377,726 votes.
Mattawalle scored 311,976 votes. The APC candidate, now serving as the Minister of State for Defence, had accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of subverting his victory at the poll by failing to include the results of some ward areas.
But in an earlier ruling on September 18, the Zamfara Election Petitions Tribunal held that the petition was devoid of merit. While upholding Lawal’s victory, the tribunal awarded the N500,000 fine against the petitioners.
An unsatisfied Mattawalle, as observers expected, took the matter to the Court of Appeal in Abuja, to challenge the decision of the lower court.
Respite came for Matawalle on Thursday as the three-member panel led by Justice Oyebisi Folayemi, nullified the return of Governor Lawal as the winner of the governorship poll.
The Court held that the use of IREV information to declare Lawal as governor in the absence of polling units results were unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.