The National and State House of Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal in Kano has taken a decisive step by nullifying the election of the member representing Taurani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
The tribunal ruled against Muktar Umar Yerima of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), finding him guilty of certificate forgery.
The election, which took place on February 25th, 2023, had been contested by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hafizu Kawu. Kawu had raised concerns about Yerima’s eligibility as the winner and challenged his victory, citing doubts regarding his qualifications.
A three-member panel of the tribunal, presided over by Justice I.P. Chima, delivered the verdict.
The panel upheld the argument that Yerima had engaged in forgery by presenting a primary school certificate that had been altered. Consequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was directed to retract the certificate of return that had been previously issued to him.
The tribunal’s ruling held that Yerima’s defense claiming a change of name in 2022 lacked credibility, given that he had consistently used three different names (Umar Mukhtar Zakari) on his international passports since 2009. Notably, his primary school certificate still bore the name Umar Mukhtar.
The credibility of the certificate presented by Yerima was further undermined by the fact that the primary school in question, Hausawa Primary School, publicly disowned the certificate during the proceedings.
As a result of the tribunal’s decision, the NNPP finds itself without a valid candidate in the election for the Taurani Federal Constituency.
This ruling signifies a strong stance against fraudulent practices in electoral processes, underscoring the importance of upholding transparency and integrity in the democratic system.
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