From Kayode Lawal, Abuja
The Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of the National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal voiding the election Umar Mukhtari Zakari of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) for Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State.
A three-member of the court, in a judgment on Saturday in Abuja, upheld that arguments by lawyer to Zakari and the NNPP, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) that the tribunal erred in law in reaching its decision.
In the lead judgment by Justice Obande Ogbuinya, the Court of Appeal held that the tribunal was wrong to have concluded the Zakari forged his credential when the petitioners failed to establish their claim to that effect.
Zakari was declared winner of the election held on February 25, which Ibrahim Hafiz Kawu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenged with a petition dated March 17, 2023.
The petitioners had claimed that Zakari purportedly forged the Housawa Special Primary School certificate which he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the grounds that the name on it was simply “Muktar Umar.”
The Court of Appeal, in its judgment on Saturday, held that the respondents, who were petitioners at the tribunal, failed to prove that Zakari was not the same person who attended the school and was awarded the certificate.
It proceeded to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, allowed the appeal and affirmed Zakari’s election.