The apex court set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal Abuja, which had declared the Governorship Election as inconclusive and ordered a re-run in three Local Government Areas of the state.
He was declared the winner of the March 18 governorship election. In a shocking victory that dislodged then-incumbent Bello Matawalle of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he polled a total of 377,726 votes. Matawalle scored 311,976 votes.
The APC candidate, now serving as the Minister of State for Defence, had accused INEC of subverting his victory at the poll by failing to include the results of some ward areas.
In an earlier ruling on September 18, the Zamfara Election Petitions Tribunal held that the petition was devoid of merit. While upholding Lawal’s victory, the tribunal awarded the N500,000 fine against the petitioners.
An unsatisfied Matawalle, as observers expected, took the matter to the Court of Appeal in Abuja, to challenge the decision of the lower court.
Respite came for Matawalle at the appellate court as the three-member panel led by Justice Oyebisi Folayemi, nullified the return of Governor Lawal as the winner of the governorship poll.
Justice Sybil Nwaka ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in three local government areas of the state, where elections had not been held previously or where results from various polling units were not counted.
But the governor proceeded to the apex court to seek redress.