By Lucky Isibor,
The recent judgement delivered by the Supreme Court in which it reaffirmed the election victory of Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State is a stand alone case and not a review of the apex court’s earlier decision
This clarification became necessary in view of the insinuation cited in some quarters that the judgement was a review of an earlier judgement of the court.
Giving further legal insights on the case, during a chat with journalists in Benin City, a constitutional lawyer and the lead counsel to Governor Matawalle, Zakawanu Garuba Esq., said both cases are distinct and separate in the sense of the reliefs sought by the appellants.
According to Garuba, the latest decision of the apex court was the fallout of another case filed earlier at the Tribunal by one of the political parties in which they challenged the basis of Matawalle’s declaration by INEC as duly elected.
He said the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA, had approached the Tribunal on grounds that Matawalle votes did not have the required spread across the state in accordance with law.
Governor Matawalle had earlier emerged as the governor of Zamfara state via a Supreme Court ruling which nullified the APC primary in the state on the basis of non compliance with the electoral law.
APDA’s case was, however, determined in the favour of Matawalle. The Tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove its claims and subsequently struck it out.
Dissatisfied with the tribunal ruling, Garuba, a former Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, noted that APDA appealed the judgement and lost again at the Appeal Court.
With the recent judgement of the apex court which upheld the tribunal decision on the basis of proof of evidence, it is now clear that APDA has exhausted the legal options open to it.