Appeal Court reverses sack of Rep Zakari by tribunal
Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun
By Taiye Agbaje
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Saturday, vacated the judgment by the National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal which nullified the election of the lawmaker representing Tarauni Federal Constituency in Kano State, Rep Umar Mukhtari Zakari.
A three-member panel, in the lead judgment by Justice Obande Ogbuinya, held that the tribunal was wrong to have concluded that Zakari of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) forged his credential when the petitioners failed to establish their claim to that effect.
The court upheld the arguments off counsel to Zakari and the NNPP, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, that the tribunal erred in law in reaching its decision.
Zakari was declared winner of the election held on Feb. 25, which Ibrahim Hafiz Kawu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenged with a petition dated March 17.
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, 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.
The panel consequently set aside the judgment of the tribunal, allowed the appeal and affirmed Zakari’s election victory.(NAN)