- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:38
- Written by Admin
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Two senators and eight members of the House of Representatives from Katsina State who won elections on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday lost bids to retain their seats when a tribunal nullified their victories.
It was ruling in a case filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which holds the governorship in Katsina State.
The senators affected by the judgement are Abdu Umar Yan-Doma and Ahmed Sani Stores of Katsina North and Katsina Central districts respectively.
In the House of Representatives, the members affected are Abdu Dankama (Jibia/Kaita), Murtala Isa (Faskari/Sabuwa/Kankara), Mukhtari Dan-Dutse (Funtua/Dan-Dume), Musa Salisu (Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa), Aminu Ashiru (Mani/Bindawa), Umar Adamu Katsayel (Daura/Mai-Adua/Sandamu), Muhammad Tukur Sada (Katsina) and Tasi’u Doguru (Mashi/Dutse).
The tribunal, headed by Justice Solomon A. Akintaye and Justice Halim Saleeman, ordered the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections in the affected Federal constituencies and senatorial districts within 90 days.
In their ruling, the judges said, “In view of exhibit B (Court of Appeal’s judgement) tendered in evidence before the tribunal by the petitioner, all the affected legislators did not qualify to contest the last April election.”
They added, “The Appeal Court judgement had set aside the January 15,, 2011 primary election conducted by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Katsina State, which saw the affected Senators and House of Representatives members as the party’s flag bearers in the last April election. The judgement has made them to be unqualified.”
In nullifying the elections, the tribunal also relied on Section 141 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, and Sections 135 and 65 of the 1999 Constitution which provide that a candidate should only contest election on sponsorship of a political party.
“The tribunal is also not unaware of the pending case at the Supreme Court of Nigeria involving the affected legislatures, but the judgement of the Supreme Court could only be effected from the date it was passed, hence the case could not affect our verdict,” the judges said.
Although the lawmakers have earlier argued that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre-election and or parties’ internal affairs, the tribunal ruled that issue of candidates’ qualification is a post-election matter.
In his reaction, state PDP chairman Gambo Bakori described the judgement as a success to the ruling party. “The judgement has bestowed confidence in me about the Judiciary because I am now confident that the Judiciary is still alive in restoring the lost glory of our great country Nigeria,” he said.
But the CPC said it would appeal the judgement. National publicity secretary of the party Rotimi Fashakin told Daily Trust in Abuja, “We are duty bound to protect the sanctity of the votes given to us by the electorates. So we are going to appeal the ruling.”
One of the affected lawmakers, Dan-Dutse, said also he would appeal the ruling. “We are going to meet at the party’s secretariat in Katsina on Sunday to discuss the matter extensively… We will appeal to seek for justice,” Dan-Dutse said.
If they appeal the tribunal judgement, the 10 lawmakers would continue to hold their seats in the National Assembly pending the outcome of their respective appeals. (Daily Trust)