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Saturday, February 4, 2023

2023: Court sacks APC candidate over forgery in Jigawa

A Federal High Court sitting in Dutse, Jigawa State, has nullified the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Kazaure constituency in the state House of Assembly which produced Muhammad Idris as the winner, over forgery.

Justice Hassan Dikko in his ruling on Thursday, November 17, 2022, said the court was convinced that Idris was not validly elected as the party’s candidate, and ordered that he should vacate the seat for his main challenger, Bala Hamza.

In the primary election conducted on 26 May, Idris got 29 votes while Hamza scored 24 votes.

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However, Hamza challenged the result in court. He argued that five party delegates from his constituency were “intimidated and disenfranchised” during the primary election.

He also claimed that Idris presented a forged educational certificate to the INEC.

In his ruling, Dikko declared that “Idris was not duly elected with majority votes cast at the primary election of the APC into the Jigawa State House of Assembly representing the Kazaure constituency conducted on 26 May.

The court also ruled that it was convinced that Mr Idris forged the certificate he submitted for the primary election.

“That the third defendant (Mr Idris) was not duly elected with majority votes cast at the primary election of the first defendant (APC) into the Jigawa State House of Assembly representing the Kazaure constituency conducted on 26 May.

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“That the plaintiff (Hamza) is the lawful and bonafide candidate of the first defendant (APC) for election into the Jigawa House of Assembly representing the Kazaure constituency.

“That the second defendant (INEC) to substitute the name of Idris with the name of the plaintiff Hamza as the winner of the election for Kazaure Constituency of Jigawa State conducted on 26 May,” the trial judge, Dikko ruled.

Also, the court stated that it was satisfied that five of the party delegates were disenfranchised during the primary election and that their votes belonged to Hamza.

With the court ruling, Hamza now has 29 votes to defeat Idris who was awarded 24 votes.

The lead counsel of the plaintiff, Ibrahim Sa’ad, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the judgement and described it as a victory for democracy and rule of law.

The counsel to the defendants, Umar Yalleman, declined to speak with reporters after the ruling.

Meanwhile, Hamza, who is the sitting member representing the Kazaure constituency in the state house of Assembly, described the judgement as a win-win for the APC.

He called on his opponent to join hands for the success of the APC at the state and federal levels.

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