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Zamfara: Gov. Matawalle Wins At Tribunal As Judge Awards Cost Against Petitioners

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Tribunal Rules In Favour Of Matawalle

The Zamfara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday affirmed Bello Mattawalle as the duly elected governor of Zamfara State.

The tribunal in its ruling, dismissed a petition seeking to unseat Governor Mattawalle and also ordered the petitioners to pay N500,000 to the Governor as the cost of litigation.

Muhammed Sani Takori of the Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA) had filed a petition against Governor Matawalle, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the outcome of the Zamfara governorship election.

In the petition marked EPT/ZM/GOV/2019, Takori and APDA urged the tribunal to nullify the emergence of Matawalle as governor on the ground that he did not score two-thirds of the votes cast in the local government areas of the state as required by law.

But delivering judgment in the petition, the tribunal headed by Hon. Justice Binta Fatima Zubair held that the petition lacked merit in view of the Supreme Court pronouncement of May 24.

Naija News reports the Supreme Court had nullified the votes cast for Muktar Idris of All Progressives Congress during the March 9 governorship election in the state, insisting that the APC failed to conduct primaries in accordance with the party rules.

It also ruled that the person who came second during the polls should be declared winner of the election.

INEC had before the Supreme Court ruling, declared Muktar victorious with 534,541 votes out of the 810,782 votes cast while Bello Matawalle of Peoples Democratic Party PDP came second with 189,452.

The tribunal had earlier dismissed Takori’s preliminary objection that the PDP did not conduct any primaries and that Matawalle was not duly sponsored by his party, and therefore was not qualified to contest for the governorship election in the first place.

Justice Zubairu that the issue is a pre-election matter and the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.