A candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Kwara state House of Assembly rerun election, Adam Rufai, has been sacked by the state election petition tribunal.
Recall that the tribunal on Monday, September 28, nullified Rufai’s victory in the by-election for Patigi constituency.
The tribunal subsequently declared Salihu Mohammed Gada of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the by-election held on March 14, 2020.
Reacting to the judgement, the Kwara state chapter of APC rejected the judgment of the tribunal which declared the candidate of PDP the winner of the recent Patigi by-election.
Recall that the seat became vacant when Rufai’s brother, Saidu Ahmed, died in December 2019 after a brief illness.
The tribunal explained that the judgment was based on the difference between ‘Adam’ and ‘Adama’ on the certificate of the candidate of the APC. Kwara APC made the complaint in a press statement by its publicity secretary, Folaranmi Aro, on Monday, September 28.
The statement was titled, ‘APC rejects, to appeal Tribunal’s judgment on Patigi … Says judgment a judicial subversion of people’s mandate’.
Aro complained that the PDP never called any witness from the examination body to substantiate its claim that the APC candidate was not the owner of the certificate he tendered for his election.
The statement reads in part: “The tribunal did not deny that we won the election overwhelmingly. It instead hid under a feeble excuse that the names of our candidate on the two certificates he presented to the electoral body are slightly different from each other to award our mandate to the opposition.
“This judgment is a violent attack on the position of the Supreme Court in many established cases where an alphabet was either omitted or added to a candidate’s name. We are definitely going to appeal the judgment because it signals danger for our democracy and amounted to stealing the mandate of the people. The judgment is a judicial subversion of the mandate of the people.”
Meanwhile, a former senate president, Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Yahaya over the judgment.
The former Kwara State governor tweeted, “A big congrats to the candidate of our party @OfficialPDPNig for the State Assembly by-election held in Patigi, Kwara State on 14th March, 2020. Hon. Salihu Muhammad Yahaya has just been declared the winner by a tribunal. I also congratulate all our stakeholders for their steadfastness.”