The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano has voided the election of Yusuf Datti, the member of the House of Representatives representing Kura/ Madobi/ Garùn-Malam federal constituency.
Mr Datti is a member of the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
The tribunal ruled that Mr Datti failed to comply with the guidelines of the Electoral Act 2022.
The tribunal found that Mr Datti, a staffer of the Bayero University, Kano did not resign from his appointment at the university, 30 days before the election as mandated by the Electoral Act, 2022.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Musa Kwankwaso, who came second, was, therefore, declared the winner of the poll.
On Sunday, the chairperson of the tribunal, Ngozi Azinge, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to set aside the certificate of return earlier issued to Mr Datti and declared Mr Kwankwaso as the winner of the election.
“Electoral rules and regulations are crucial in maintaining the integrity of our democratic process. Failure to adhere to these rules can have serious consequences, Mr Azinge said while delivering the verdict.
In his response to the tribunal judgement, Mr Kwankwaso expressed gratitude and commitment to serve his people.
“I appreciate the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and ensuring that the will of the people prevails. I am ready to fulfil my responsibilities as the elected representative for the Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam constituency, the elated Mr Kwankwaso, who is a former commissioner for rural development in Kano, said.
Meanwhile, the tribunal also affirmed the election of Sani Bala of the APC representing Kunchi Tsanyawa federal constituency.
The candidate of the NNPP, Abdullahi Muhammad, challenged Mr Bala unsuccessfully at the tribunal.
Mrs Azinge ruled that the three witnesses presented by the petitioner at the tribunal lacked cognitive values.
“We found contradictory and discrepancies in the testimonies of PW1, PW2 and PW 3 respectively.
It is the duty of the petitioner not only to show but to demonstrate to the tribunal that the respondent didn’t score the majority of the votes cast during the election.
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“This petition is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit, the judge ruled.
With Sunday’s ruling, the NNPP has now lost two seats in the House of Representatives to the opposition APC in Kano.
In August, the elections petition tribunal nullified the election of the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Mukhtar Yarima.
The election of Mr Yerima, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP) was annulled over certificate forgery.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Hafizu Kawu, challenged the election of Mr Yerima at the tribunal for allegedly forging his primary school certificate.
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