The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Katsina has declared two House of Representatives victories null and void and declared two others inconclusive.
The tribunal, led by Justice O. Ogunfowora, ruled in its decision that “the return of the first respondent, Aminu Ahmadu Chindo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as member Katsina Central Federal Constituency, Katsina State of the House of Representatives is hereby nullified and set aside.”
The judges also ruled that the first petitioner, Sani Aliyu, was re-elected as a member of the Katsina Central Federal Constituency of the House of Representatives, and a cost of N200,000.00 was given to the petitioner against the first and second defendants.
In a petition filed by Sani Danlami against the declaration and return of Aminu Ahmadu Chindo, with PDP and INEC as other respondents. The petitioner accused the first respondent of presenting a forged primary school testimonial, which the court said the defendant had failed to prove that he had actually attended the then Kofar Soro Primary School.
Earnest Obunadike, the lead counsel for Hon. Sani Danlami, explained the decision, saying the petition was premised on section 66(1)(i) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), presentation of a false certificate to INEC is a disqualifying factor for any person vying for either a Reps member or a Senator.
The court also nullified the return of the member representing Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency, Ismail Dalha of the PDP for forgery of his Primary School Certificate.
The tribunal ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Hon. Abubakar Yahya of the APC who came second in the election with 31,017 votes.
The tribunal had earlier declared as inconclusive the Kankara/Faskari/Sabuwa federal constituency election result, where the APC candidate, Hon. Dalhatu Shehu Tafoki, challenged the victory of Hon. Mohammed Jamilu of the PDP, who was returned by INEC.
The court ordered for fresh elections in some polling units and supplementary election in other polling units of the constituency.
One of the counsels to the petitioners, Barrister, Sagir Tahir, explained that while over voting was recorded in some polling units, voting did not take place in others, hence the court applied lead of margin principle and ordered for supplementary elections so as to ensure that no eligible voter was disenfranchised.
Similarly, the tribunal in Katsina had declared as inconclusive the Batsari/Safana/Danmusa federal constituency election result, where the APC candidate, Ahmed Zakka Abdulkadir challenged the victory of Hon. Iliyasu Abubakar of the PDP, who was returned by INEC.
Here also, the court ordered for fresh elections in some polling units and rerun in other polling units of the constituency.