Tribunal Nullifies Victories of Two PDP Rep Members Over Forged Primary School Certificates, Declares Elections Inconclusive.
In a significant development, the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Katsina has made decisive rulings that nullify the victories of two members of the House of Representatives and declare two other elections inconclusive.
Nullification of Victories: The tribunal, presided over by Hon. Justice O. Ogunfowora, delivered a verdict that holds substantial implications for the political landscape.
It nullified the election victory of the 1st respondent, Aminu Ahmadu Chindo, a member of the House of Representatives representing Katsina Central Federal Constituency in Katsina State, who had contested under the banner of the PDP. In its judgment, the tribunal declared Aminu Ahmadu Chindo’s election as null and void.
As a result of this decision, the first petitioner, Sani Aliyu, was declared the rightful member representing Katsina Central Federal Constituency of the House of Representatives. The tribunal further awarded a cost of N200,000.00 to the first and second respondents in favor of the petitioner.
Forgery Allegations: The basis for the nullification of Aminu Ahmadu Chindo’s victory was a petition filed by Sani Danlami, which accused the first respondent of presenting a forged primary school testimonial. The tribunal found that the defendant failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that he had indeed attended the Kofar Soro Primary School, as claimed.
This judgment was in line with the provisions of section 66(1)(i) of the 1999 constitution (As amended), which disqualifies any person vying for a position as a Reps member or Senator if they are found to have presented false certificates to INEC.
Another Victory Nullified: In a parallel case, the court nullified the election victory of the member representing Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency, Ismail Dalha, who ran as a candidate for the PDP. The tribunal found that he had presented a forged Primary School Certificate.
In response to this ruling, the tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Hon. Abubakar Yahya, who came second in the election with 31,017 votes and was a candidate of the APC.
Inconclusive Elections: Additionally, the tribunal declared the results of the Kankara/Faskari/Sabuwa federal constituency election inconclusive. In this case, the APC candidate, Hon. Dalhatu Shehu Tafoki, contested the victory of Hon. Mohammed Jamilu of the PDP, who was initially declared the winner by INEC.
The tribunal ordered fresh elections in some polling units and supplementary elections in others within the constituency. The decision was based on instances of overvoting in certain polling units and the absence of voting in others, with the aim of ensuring that no eligible voter was disenfranchised.
Another Inconclusive Election: Likewise, the tribunal declared the Batsari/Safana/Danmusa federal constituency election result inconclusive. The APC candidate, Ahmed Zakka Abdulkadir, had challenged the victory of Hon. Iliyasu Abubakar of the PDP, who had been declared the winner by INEC.
In this case as well, the tribunal ordered fresh elections in some polling units and reruns in others within the constituency.
These rulings underscore the critical role that election tribunals play in upholding the integrity of electoral processes and ensuring that candidates meet the required qualifications for public office.