Appeal court upholds nullification of Zamfara PDP guber primary

The appeal court sitting in Sokoto has dismissed the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the judgment that nullified the election of Dauda Lawal as the Zamfara governorship candidate.

Lawal Shu’aibu, the presiding judge, on Wednesday, said the suit filed by the PDP lacks merit.

On May 26, Lawal was elected after he polled 431 votes to defeat Ibrahim Shehu, who came second with five votes, and Wadatau Madawaki, who placed third with three votes.

In June, Madawaki, Shehu, and Aliyu Muhammad, another candidate filed a suit challenging the legality of the primary.

They requested that the exercise be annulled due to alleged anomalies, contradictions, fraud, and violation of the electoral act and the party’s constitution, among other issues.

On September 16, a federal high court in Gusau nullified the election and ordered a rerun.

Lawal won the rerun, polling 422 votes to beat his two opponents — Ibrahim Shehu and Hafiz Nahuche who scored one vote each.

Dissatisfied, Shehu and other aspirants again approached the court, noting that PDP violated electoral guidelines.

On November 8, the court nullified the rerun and barred the party from fielding any candidate for the 2023 governorship election.

Consequently, Lawal approached the appeal court to seek redress.

Delivering the ruling on Wednesday, the judge said the appeal suit is a mere academic exercise since the appellants participated in the rerun primary after the initial primary was nullified.

The judge ruled that the appellants had no right to appeal the judgment while awarding N100,000 against the appellants.

He said the participation of the appellants in the fresh primary election, testimonies of witnesses and documents submitted as exhibits depict that they agreed to the violation of electoral acts as well as PDP guidelines.