The Appeal Court in its ruling set aside a judgment of the Federal High Court
The Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday 6 January, 2023 reinstated Mr Dauda Lawal as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Zamfara State. The judgment was greeted with jubilations across the state especially among PDP members and supporters.
Earlier, a high court sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, presided over by Justice Aminu Bappa-Aliyu had nullified the primaries that produced Dauda Lawal as PDP governorship candidate and instead, ruled that the Peoples’ Democratic Party had no gubernatorial candidate in the state.
In its ruling, the appellate court on Friday set aside a judgment of the Federal High Court.
All the members of the three-man panel of the Appeal Court in the Friday sitting concurred with the lead judgement of Justice Muhammad Shu’aibu, who ordered the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to accept Lawal as the elected governorship candidate of the PDP in Zamfara State for the 2023 general election.
The panel said it was inconceivable for the Federal High Court Judge’s refusal to accept the INEC report of the primaries claiming that it was not certified despite being a public document and published on the INEC website.
The panel added that the appellant was not properly joined by the plaintiffs. Also, a court cannot grant a relief not sought by the plaintiff. “The court is not Father Christmas,” said the panel.
Reacting to the judgement, Dauda Lawal described the Appeal Court’s ruling in Sokoto as a victory for democracy, the good people of Zamfara State.
The PDP governorship candidate, who spoke through Dauda Lawal Media Office, said the Appeal Court judgment was a victory not only to the PDP, but to the entire people of Zamfara yearning for good governance.
“The people are celebrating my appeal court judgement because of their conviction that under my leadership, Zamfara State will be a reference point for new ideas, determination, dynamism, and endless possibilities.”
In September, after a former federal lawmaker, Ibrahim Shehu, challenged Mr Lawal’s election, the Federal High Court in Gusau, nullified his nomination as the PDP candidate.
Another primary election was conducted by the party and Mr Lawal was elected again after which he called on the other contestants to join hands with him for the success of the party.
But Mr Shehu said he was not satisfied with the conduct of the fresh primary and took both Mr Lawal and PDP to court, claiming that the conduct of the fresh primary violated the country’s electoral guidelines.