TRIBUNAL DISMISSES PETITION AGAINST MATAWALLE

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By Amina Yahaya

The Zamfara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, dismissed a petition challenging the election of Governor Bello Matawalle of the State.

The petition, filed by Mohammed Sani Takori of Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), also joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission as respondents.

Takori and APDA in the petition prayed the tribunal to nullify the emergence of Matawalle as governor, alleging that he did not score two thirds of the votes cast in the Local Government Areas of the State as required by law. They also declared substantial votes cast on the election day as waste.

Delivering judgement on the petition Monday, the tribunal headed by Justice Binta Fatima Zubair, held that the petition was un-mertorious in view of the Supreme Court pronouncement of May 24, 2019.

The apex court had in the judgment delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Muhammad, held that votes cast for candidates who ought not to have participated in an election are wasted votes that cannot be used in determining outcome of an election.

Justice Zubair held that by implication, the votes cast for Matawalle and his party, the PDP, were the lawful votes as far as the March 9, governorship election in Zamfara State was concerned.

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