Appeal Court reinstates Lawal-Dare as Zamfara PDP governorship candidate

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By Habibu Harisu

The Sokoto Division of Court of Appeal Sokoto on Friday upheld the primary election which produced Dr Dauda Lawal-Dare as candidate of the PDP for the March 11, 2023 governorship election in Zamfara.

The first PDP governorship primary election was held on May 25, 2022.

But some of the participants challenged the outcome of the primary at Federal High Court in Gusau.

The court ordered for fresh primary election which was conducted on Sept. 23, 2022.

But the court also quashed by the rerun election over alleged irregularities.

Not satisfied, the elected PDP candidate, Lawal-Dare, Adamu Maina-Waziri, the chairman primary election committee and retired Col. Bala Mande approached the appeal court for redress.

Respondents in suit were Dr Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, Alhaji Wadatau Madawaki, Hafiz Nahuche and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a unanimous judgment read on behalf of other members of the panel, Justice Abubakar Talba said the appellants have succeeded to prove all the seven grounds of appeals canvassed by their counsels.

He thereby resolved all the issues 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.

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Justice Talba held the lower court judge was wrong to discountenance documents submitted from INEC on the conduct of the Zamfara PDP primary for the governorship election.

He also said the trial court did not stipulate 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 to set aside the lower court judgement and answer the prayer sought in affirmative.

He said the trial judge, Justice Aminu Bappah-Aliyu of Federal High Court Gusau, failed on his legal responsibilities to give parties fair hearing and others.

Justice Talba awarded N200,000 as cost to appellants against the respondents.

In judgment in a separate suit delivered by Justice Talba, he upheld prayers of Lawal-Dare, Maina-Waziri and Mande against the same Respondents.

He agreed that respondents did not prove that the PDP primary election appeal panel went into hiding as evidences were not adduced. (NAN)

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