Forged Certificates; APC Loses House Of Representatives Seat In Niger
John Adams, Minna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has suffered another defeat, this time around in Niger state as the Niger state National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal ruled against the party in a petition filed by Mr Emma Alamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The petition follows the outcome of the bye election for Magama /Rijau federal constituency held on March 14 which the APC candidate Alhaji Kasim Danjuma initially won.
The PDP candidate after the contest petitioned the tribunal, on the ground that the APC candidate was not qualified to have contested the election for submitting forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC which used the said fake documents to clear the APC candidate.
According to the petitioner Kassim Danjuma presented fake primary school certificate and forged declaration of age to INEC for the clearance.
Counsel to the petitioner Mohammed Ndayako therefore asked the tribunal to quash the victory of the APC candidate and declare the PDP contestant the winner.
In its judgement on Monday, the three man tribunal headed by Justice B. F Zubairu in a unanimous judgement upheld the petition and declared the victory of Kassim Danjuma null and void.
In the judgement the tribunal said the petitioner proved beyond reasonable doubts that the first respondent presented forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission which enabled him to contest the election.
The tribunal therefore annulled the election and directed INEC to conduct fresh election in the constituency within the next 90 days.
It also ruled that kassim Danjuma and his party the APC will not be eligible to contest in the bye election.
Other members of the three man panel are Justice A O Lajide and Khadi M Y Usman.
Counsel to the petitioner Alhaji ,Mohammed Ndayako hailed the judgement of the tribunal describing it as victory for democracy .
Ndayako said the judgement will also teach all those aspiring for public offices to always remain above board and avoid taking short cut to victory.
The APC had recently lost three local government chairman seats to the PDP on similar grounds.