The Katsina state governorship election petition tribunal on Saturday validated the election of Aminu Masari, governor of the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Masari, who contested under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 9 election but Yakubu Lado of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took Masari and the APC to the tribunal, challenging the result of the election.
Lado in his petition filed by Goddy Uche, his counsel, asked the tribunal to nullify the election and order a rerun over alleged irregularities.
The PDP and its candidate also asked the tribunal to disqualify 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, pointing out that records in Masari’s documentation with INEC, tendered as exhibit by his counsel, Gordy Uche, showed that Masari and his father were both 69 years old.
The petitioner asserted 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.
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.
He also claimed that just as the same primary school certificate in question belongs to one Aminu Bello, the respondent is known and addressed as Aminu Bello Masari.
In his ruling on Saturday, Dele Omotosho, a judge, held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegation of substantial non-compliance to the electoral act in the conduct of the election.
Omotosho held that Masari was qualified to have contested the election and that the petitioners were not able to prove the allegations which they hinged their petition upon.