There was wild celebration on the streets of Katsina over the decision of the election petition tribunal which on Saturday in Abuja upheld the re-election of Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
The re-election of Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state was confirmed by a majority decision taken by the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Katsina State which ruled that the election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate was lawful and valid
The tribunal had by a split 2-1 decision, dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado, challenging Masari’s victory at the poll.
This is the second time this year that Governor Masari is defeating Senator Yakubu Lado of the PDP, having defeated him in the March 9 Guber election
While delivering its judgement, the Tribunal which delivered its judgment in Abuja, dismissed all the grounds of the petition, saying that the petitioner did not prove them beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.
Reading the verdict on behalf of two other members of the three-man tribunal, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman affirmed that Governor Masari was the duly elected governor of Katsina State, having scored majority of lawful votes cast in the election.
He said: “There is no shred of cogent evidence in proof of their allegations as required by relevant laws. In the circumstance, the petitioners are not entitled to any of the reliefs sought in their petitions. The petition is therefore dismissed in its entirety for lack of merit.”
The minority judgment, however, came through the Chairperson of the three-man panel, Justice Hadiza Ali Jos, who told other members that Governor Masari “does not have the requisite qualification to contest the election”.
But her move was overruled by the other two members of the panel, leading to the victory of Governor Masari at the tribunal.
Meanwhile, there was jubilation galore in at the Governors lodge in asokoro Abuja, as both the victorious Governor and top government functionaries, APC supporters present were seen jubilating and thanking Allah for the victory
The State Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Shitu Shitu described the verdict as a victory for democracy and called on opponents to join hands with Masari to move the state forward
Also reacting to the judgment, the state Chairman of the PDP, Salisu Yusuf Majigiri, expressed displeasure over the judgment, insisting that the party and its candidate would Appeal the court ruling