From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
A High Court sitting on pre election matters in Minna has quashed the election of the incumbent chairman of Magama local government, Salihu Ubandoma, on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger state over age falsification.
Sitting on the judgment, Justice Mohammad Mohammad of High Court 5 however declared the plaintiff, Safiyanu Yahaya Ibeto, of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the 30th November, 2019 local government election.
The plaintiffs through their lawyers, Mohammad Wazir Esq and Abubakar Mohammad Bokani Esq, said that by the virtue of Section 7 (4) and 106 (d) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the nomination of the 1st defendant by the 2nd and 3rd defendants for the said election is a nullity hence he should be disqualified.
They argued further that the 2nd defendant has no candidate for the election, adding that all votes casted for him was a waste and therefore the plaintiff who has the next highest votes should be declare the winner, be issued certificate of return, while the first certificate issued to the 1st defendant (PDP) be withdrew from him making it null and void.
Wazir Esq sought for the interpretation of Section 20 of the Niger state LG Council election amended law, 2011 and Section 3, (2), (5) and (6) of the electoral act, 2010 as amended. Form EC.01 of 1st defendant (Salihu Ubandoma) personal data filled in 2nd defendant (APC) form contradicted other documents.
Justice Mohammad during his rulings disqualified the APC candidate declaring that certificate of return issued to him was null and void and such certificate be withdrawn from him by 3rd defendant Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC).
The Judge further directed the state electoral empire to declared the plaintiff (PDP) candidate the winner of the said election and to be sworn in as the authentic winner of November 39, 2019 local government election in Magama local council held in the state.
The plaintiff lawyer, Barrister Mohammad Wazir of Babawaziri & Co Chambers, expressed satisfaction over the judgment, adding that their prayers were accepted sequel to the judgment, hence justice is seen to have been done.
Although the defendant has 14 days to appeal if not satisfied with the judgment, as such are pre election matters.
It could be recalled that the same local government elections of Suleja and Agaie respectively are under contention in courts by the PDP seeking to up turn the results earlier announced in favour of the ruling APC.