The Katsina State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has in a split decision of two to one Abuja validated the election of Governor Aminu Masari of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
In its judgment on Friday, the tribunal held that the petitioner has failed to prove the allegation of substantial non compliance to the electoral act in the conduct of the election.However in his descenting judgment, Justice Dele Omotosho allowed the petition and nullify the election of Governor Masari.
He ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh election in the state within 90 days.
Justice Omotoso held that Masari was not qualified to have contested the election and that the petitioners were able to prove the allegations, which they hinged their petition.
In the majority judgment, Justice Chairman of the panel, Hadiza Alijos, and Justice Ityonuyiman, held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations of non compliance to the electoral act in the conduct of the election that produced Masari as winner.
Senator Yakubu Lado and his political platform, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had dragged Governor Aminu Masari and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) before the State governorship tribunal challenging the result of the March 9, 2019 election.
In his petition filed by his counsel, Goddy Uche (SAN), Lado asked the tribunal to nullify the election and order for a rerun over alleged irregularities.
The PDP and its candidate also prayed the tribunal to disqualify Governor Masari who won the disputed election on the grounds that he had no requisite educational qualification to contest the election.
Lado questioned the governor’s qualification to contest the 2019 gubernatorial election, pointing out that records in Masari’s documentation with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), tendered as exhibit by his (Lado’s) counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), showed that Masari and his father were both 69 years old.
The petitioner asserted that an affidavit deposed to by Governor 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, exactly 69 years in 2019 and the same age with his son.
He also alleged that another area of discrepancy before the tribunal was 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.
He also claimed that just as the same primary school certificate in question belongs to one Aminu Bello, a Fulani, the respondent is known and addressed as Aminu Bello Masari, Hausa by tribe