TRIBUNAL NULLIFIES PDP LAWMAKER'S ELECTION

By NBF News
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again suffered another defeat at the Justice Alero Edodo-Esuaga-led election tribunal holding in Birnin Kebbi.

The election of the member of the state House of Assembly representing Koko/Besse Constituency, Tukur Mohammed Besse of the PDP, was nullified by the tribunal, while his opponent, Kabiru Abdullahi of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was returned as the duly elected member of the Assembly.

Tukur Mohammed Besse was returned as winner by the INEC in the April elections but dissatisfied with the return of Tukur, the petitioner Kabiru Abdullahi went to the tribunal challenging the return of Tukur who was the 1st respondent in the case on the grounds that he (Tukur) was not qualified to contest the election in the first place as he had no school certificate or its equivalent at the time of the election.

The judges submitted that the 1st and 2nd respondents (Tukur and the PDP) in their written address after reviewing the pleadings of the petitioners had failed to prove their case that the 1st respondent was not educated to secondary school certificate level or its equivalent as at the time he contested for the Koko-Besse constituency in the Kebbi State House of Assembly.

The petitioners, in their written address on July 26, 2011 after reviewing the pleadings and testimonies in support, raised their lone issue which counsel to the petitioners quoted Section 106 of the constitution, contending that the 1st respondent did not say he was relying on any of the listed equivalents of a secondary school certificate but on a purported testimonial from a school he never attended.

'That from the pleadings, what the petitioners are to prove in evidence is that the school the 1st respondent claimed to have attended and from which he claimed to have been educated to secondary school level never existed.'

The judges submitted that after careful consideration of the pleadings and evidence before them, they were fortified by, in their Judgment, by three elements, that the certificate which the 1st respondent exhibited bore the heading of 'government secondary school' without the word Day. The second element being that the certification on the testimonial reads Certified True Copy Bello Danyaro Tambuwal Principal GSS Sayinna' and not GDSS, while the last element was that the subpoenaed vice principal of the school introduced himself as the vice principal of Government Secondary School Sanyinna again without the word Day.

The judges therefore in a unanimous decision ruled that the 1st respondent at the time of the election was not qualified to contest the election having not been educated up to, at least, school certificate level or its equivalent as the secondary school he claimed to have attended was not in existence. Therefore the election of Mohammed Tukur Besse as member representing Koko/Besse constituency in the state House of Assembly was nullified.