The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Saturday vacated the judgment by the National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal nullifying the election of the lawmaker representing the 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 Mr 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 of counsel to Mr Zakari and the NNPP, Mahmud Magaji, SAN that the tribunal erred in law in reaching its decision.
Mr 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.
The petitioners had claimed that Mr 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 “Muktar Umar.”
The Court of Appeal, in its judgment, held that the respondents, who were petitioners at the tribunal, failed to prove that Mr Zakari was not the same person who attended the school and was awarded the certificate.
The panel consequently set aside the tribunal’s judgment, allowed the appeal and affirmed Mr Zakari’s election victory.