The Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna has nullified the election of member of the House of Representatives representing Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency of Katsina state, Hon. Mansir Aliyu Mashi of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court which affirmed the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal, which had earlier ruled on the matter, however ordered the third respondents in the appeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections in 15 polling units where the elections were either marred with irregularities or did not hold.
Election Petition Tribunal which sat in Katsina after the by-election had on the the 15th November nullified the election of Hon. Mansir Aliyu Mashi on the ground that election was marred with irregularities, ranging from ballot box snatching, failure of election to hold in some polling units among others and ordered fresh election in those polling units.
Delivering the Appeal Court judgement on Friday, the Presiding Judge of Court of Appeal, Kaduna, Justice Umani Abba Aji said, the lower tribunal was right in its rulings, which nullified the election of the first appellant, Hon. Mansir Aliyu Mashi.
Justice Abba Aji in the almost an hour judgement said, since, evidences and exhibits presented before the court have shown that, the elections in the said polling were marred with irregularities and the number of registered voters from the affected polling units if they were not disenfranchised can change the outcome of the election, the right thing to do is to have a fresh election in the polling units.
Speaking shortly after the judgement, counsel to one of the respondents, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate, Hon Nazif Bello Yusuf, Barrister Napoleon Idenala said, they were satisfied with the judgement.
He said the court has once again reaffirmed that, impunity cannot be tolerated in the society.
Also reacting to the case, Chairman of the PDP in Katsina State, which is one of the respondents in the appeal, Alhaji Salisu Yusuf Majigiri expressed satisfaction with the judgement and said his party was prepared to mobilise its supporters and win the election.
He however said, all concerned authorities must wade in to ensure that the ruling part, APC does not violate the electoral laws like the previous election.