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Tribunal upholds Masari’s re-election

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The Katsina State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Saturday validated the election of Governor Aminu Masari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Masari

However, the verdict was a split decision of two to one with one of the judges ruling in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado.

Justice Dele Omotosho, in his judgment at the Zone ll Magistrate Court, Abuja, held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegation of substantial non-compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the election.

Omotosho, however, in his dissenting judgment, allowed the petition and nullified the election of Governor Masari.

He also ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  must conduct a fresh election in the state within 90 days.

Omotosho held that Masari was qualified to contest the election and that the petitioners were unable to prove the allegations which they hinged their petition.

In the majority judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Hadiza Alijos and Justice Ityonuyiman, held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations of non-compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the election. that produced Masari as the winner,

Lado  took Masari and the APC  to the tribunal, challenging the result of the March 9, governorship election in the state

The PDP candidate in his petition filed by his counsel, Goddy Uche, asked the tribunal to nullify the election and order a rerun over alleged irregularities.

The PDP and its candidate also prayed that the tribunal should disqualify Masari who won the election on the grounds that he had no requisite educational qualification to contest the election.

He questioned the governor’s qualification to contest the 2019 governorship election, pointing out that records in Masari’s documentation with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) tendered as exhibit by his counsel showed that Masari and his father were both 69 years old.

The petitioner insisted that an affidavit deposed to by Masari’s father, Umaru Bello, showed that while his son was born on May 29, 1950, his father was 51 years as at the time of declaration on August 9, 2001.

This it said was exactly 69 years in 2019 and the same age with his son.

He also alleged that another area of discrepancy before the tribunal was the inconsistent dates of birth on Masari’s primary school leaving certificate, saying it differs from the sworn declaration of age.

“While the declaration of age indicated that Masari was born in 1950, the primary certificate, on the other hand, stated that he was born in 1951,” Lado said. (NAN).


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