Masari’s alleged age discrepancy stuns Katsina election tribunal
Katsina PDP lawyers ask election tribunal to annul Masari’s victory base on alleged age discrepancy
The Katsina State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was bemused yesterday following the petitioner Yakubu Lado’s declaration that Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s documents suggested that he (Masari) and his father were born the same year.
Lado questioned the governor’s qualification to contest the 2019 gubernatorial election, pointing out that records in Masari’s documentation with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), tendered as exhibit by his (Lado’s) counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), showed that Masari and his father were both 69 years old.
The petitioner asserted that an affidavit deposed to by Governor Masari’s father, Umaru Bello showed that, while his son was born on May 29, 1950, his father was 51 years as at the time of declaration on August 9, 2001, exactly 69 years in 2019 and the same age with his son.
He also alleged that another area of discrepancy before the tribunal was inconsistent dates of birth on Masari’s primary school leaving certificate, saying it differs from the sworn declaration of age.
“While the declaration of age indicated that Masari was born in 1950, the primary certificate, on the other hand, stated that he was born in 1951,” Lado said.
He also claimed that just as the same primary school certificate in question belongs to one Aminu Bello, a Fulani, the respondent is known and addressed as Aminu Bello Masari, Hausa by the tribe.
Addressing journalists shortly the sitting in Katsina, Uche SAN, stated that it was clear from the testimony of the first witness that Masari has no educational qualification for the post of governor of Katsina state.
But, counsel to the governor, Tunde Busari dismissed the allegations, stressing that Masari eminently qualified to contest the post of governor, adding that he (Masari) had been Speaker of the House of Representatives and had served four years as governor.
Also, counsel to All Progressives Congress (APC), Ernest Obunadike, said, “We prefer to test this issue in court, let them prove their allegation before the court. Once a matter is in court, you don’t discuss it this way. It is unfortunate that they have done so.”