For the second time around, the Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, on Tuesday, nullified the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that produced Dauda Lawal-Dare as the governorship candidate of party in the state.
The judge, Justice Bappa Aliyu, ruled that PDP will not field any candidate for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
In September, the court nullified the previous primary that elected Lawal-Dare following a suit filed before by Ibrahim Shehu and two other aspirants challenging the credibility of the primary.
The court ordered a re-run but Lawal-Dare emerged winner at the re-run also in September.
Delivering judgment, Bappa-Aliyu held that the PDP lost the opportunity to field a candidate in the 2023 polls for failing to conduct its primary in line with the guidelines of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
On Sept 16, the court had nullified the first exercise, following alleged irregularities in the Governorship primaries conducted on May 25.
Two governorship aspirants, Dr. Ibrahim Shehu-Bakauye and Hafiz Muhammad had after the second exercise approached the court seeking nullification of the second primaries conducted on Sept. 23.
The aspirants had prayed to the court to declare the exercise null and void and to no effect for failing to meet the conditions as stipulated in Section 82 (1 and 5) of the electoral act 2022 as amended.
The plaintiffs in their suit included the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Chairman of the governorship primary election committee, Mr. Felix Hyat, State PDP Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Sani (Now Late), State PDP Governorship candidates, Dr. Dauda Lawal and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.
However, Bappa-Aliyu in a judgment held that the primaries conducted by the PDP was unlawful as the primaries did not follow the guidelines of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
Bappa-Aliyu said the PDP and other defendants failed to comply with Section 82 Subsection 1 and 5 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended, the PDP was no longer qualified to field a governorship candidate in the 2023 general elections in the state.