In a Split Decision, Tribunal Upholds Masari’s Election


By Francis Sardauna in Abuja

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Katsina State on Saturday upheld the election of Governor Aminu Bello Masari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The tribunal dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado, challenging Masari’s victory at the poll.

The tribunal, which delivered its judgment in Abuja, dismissed all the grounds of the petition, saying that the petitioner did not prove them beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

Reading the verdict on behalf of two other members of the three-man tribunal, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman affirmed that Governor Masari was the duly elected governor of Katsina State, having scored majority of lawful votes cast in the election.

He said: “There is no shred of cogent evidence in proof of their allegations as required by relevant laws. In the circumstance, the petitioners are not entitled to any of the reliefs sought in their petitions. The petition is therefore dismissed in its entirety for lack of merit.”

However, there was a minority judgment during the proceedings as the Chairperson of the three-man panel, Justice Hadiza Ali Jos, told other members of the tribual that Governor Masari “does not have the requisite qualification to contest the election”.

But her move was overruled by the other two members of the panel, leading to the victory of Governor Masari at the tribunal.

Reacting to the judgment, the state Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Salisu Yusuf Majigiri, expressed displeasure over the judgment, insisting that the party and its candidate would proceed to the Appeal Court.

Details later…