The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal for Katsina state has nullified the election of Member representing Dutsi/Mashi federal constituency, Mansur Ali Mashi and ordered for a fresh election in 90 days. Daily trust reports
The Chairman of the tribunal LM Boufini in his judgement said the election was substantially marred with irregularities and non compliance with the electoral act.
In his ruling, Boufini explained that 15 polling units were greatly affected by the problem which should have change the tide of the election if their votes are well captured and articulated.
In their reactions, the counsel to the respondents, Barrister Earnest Obunadike
Said an appeal will be filed immediately against this judgement because the chairman went out of his way to add up three other polling units because of incident report written by an electoral officer and nullified the election.
The because of the difference on its own, the tribunal now decided to do nullify, it was a big error on his part to nullify a result simply because of incident report by an presiding officer not INEC itself which declared the result, he said.
On his part, counsel to INEC , Barrister Festus Okoye said the tribunal went step ahead to nullify and ordered INEC to conduct a bye election which was not even part of the prayers of the petitioners. He said the petitioners are only asking for election to be concluded in 6 polling units and added up but not a nulification of an election.
However, the counsel to the petitioners, Uyi Igunma said this is a unique petitioner were both INEC, APC agreed there was a rigging and what we were arguing was if the irregularities are that massive to turn the election.
We are thankful to the tribunal for the courage to do what it had done for the interest of justice, he added
It could be recalled that a bye election was held on May 20th, 2017 following the death of a member Sani Bello, where the APC candidate Mansur Mashi was declared winner.
The PDP and its candidate Nazifi Bello filled a petition before the tribunal challenging the return of Mashi on two grounds that Mansur was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast.
They also alleged that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provision of the electoral act.
Source: Daily trust