A’Court Reinstates Zamfara State PDP Governorship Candidate

Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

The Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto State yesterday reinstated the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate in Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, as the contender representing the party in the 2023 election in the state.

The judgement sets aside the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, in November 2022, which had earlier disqualified Lawal.

Back then, the PDP governorship candidate urged members of the party, supporters, and the public to remain calm following the nullification of the primary that produced him.

A statement by Lawal’s media office further said the judgement by the Federal High Court, Gusau, was a distraction strategy at play, noting that Lawal’s legal team would challenge the decision at the Appeal Court and had expressed confidence that the decision would be set aside.

The Federal High Court had ruled that the PDP had no candidate for the said position in the forthcoming election in the state.

However, the judgement of the Appeal Court yesterday readmits Lawal into the race to contest for the seat of governor of Zamfara State.

In a unanimous judgement read by Justice Abubakar Talba on behalf of others, he said the appellants had succeeded in  proving  all the seven grounds of appeals canvassed by the Counsels and all resolved in favour of the appellants.

He dismissed all the preliminary objections on competency of the appeal suit on the bases of judicial provisions and interest of fair hearing arguing that technical defaults could not supersede judicial provisions.

Justice Talba said the trial judge was wrong to discountenance documents submitted from INEC, but the trial court did not stipulate a period of conducting re-run election and notices of participation.

He added that they perused all the arguments presented by different Counsels, citations of court judgements and other judicial considerations and arrived at the decision, thereby setting aside the lower court judgement and answering the prayer sought in affirmative.

He said the trial judge, Justice Aminu Bappah-Aliyu of Federal High Court Gusau had failed on his legal responsibilities in judicial considerations, giving parties fair hearing and others.

Justice Talba awarded N200,000 as cost to Appellants against the Respondents.

Meanwhile, in another judgement for a separate suit delivered by Justice Talba also upheld prayers of Lawal-Dare, Maina-Waziri and Mande against the same Respondents.

He agreed that Respondents could not prove that PDP primary election Appeal panel goes into hiding as evidence was not adduced.

Responding, the PDP chairman in Zamfara State, Alhaji Muhammad Lugga, said the judgement is victory for democracy .

He maintained that PDP will commence campaigning immediately saying they are set to rescue the state from the hands of cabals.

He noted that the ruling  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state knows that it cannot win election in Zamfara State that is why they stopped at nothing to ensure that the PDP would not feature in forthcoming general election.

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