By Hannah Nathan, Warri
There is a noticeable sense of unease in the Court of Appeal Abuja premises as the court prepared to issue a decision that could make a break in the legal dispute over the Zamfara State governorship election.
However, the state governorship contest was between Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party and Bello Matawale, the governor of the state who was just elected. Matawale is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Currently serving as the Minister of State for Defense, Matawale was soundly defeated with over 65,000 votes in the March 18 gubernatorial election.
In particular, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reported that Matawalle of the APC got 311,976 votes, while Lawal of the PDP was allotted 377,726 votes
The decision is anticipated to be rendered by a three-member panel of Justices of the Court, chaired by Oyebisi Folayemi and backed by Cordelia Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo and Sybil Nwaka Gbagi.
On September 18, the Zamfara State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal upheld Lawal’s election.
At the time of reporting, the court was heavily guarded to prevent any potential collapse of law and order following the verdict.
Mobile police officers with heavy weapons are containing a group of supporters who stormed the court as early as 8 am.
Friends, supporters, and political associates of the two groups have already crowded the courtroom.
In the interim, the Justices are waiting on the delivery of the judgement.