Certificate forgery:Tribunal dismisses petition against Kaduna APC lawmaker

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The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Kaduna, on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed against the election of  Alhaji Bala Salisu-Dandada.

Salisu-Dandada of the All Progressives Congress( APC) won the March 9 election to represent Igabi East constituency in the state House of Assembly.

He was however dragged before the Tribunal by Alhaji Bashir Idris Aliyu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over alleged certificate forgery.

In the petition, Aliyu alleged that Salisu-Dandada forged his primary and secondary schools certificates and used same to contest for the election.

The petitioner averred that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and 1st respondent in the petition erred in declaring the 2nd respondent as winner of the poll.

Aliyu had prayed the Tribunal to declare him winner with  highest valid votes.

However, Chairman of Tribunal, Justice Adamu Suleiman said there was no substantial evidence provided by the petitioner to support the allegations.

Suleiman said the evidence before the Tribunal as provided by witnesses, only showed that, the 2nd respondent had attended and obtained both the  primary and secondary schools certificates with his names boldly written on them.

” The Tribunal has evidence before it with a number of witnesses who testified that, the 2nd respondent attended Primary and Secondary Schools in NDA and Jaji respectively.

“His names Salisu Bala Dandada and Bala Silisu Dandada were interchangeably used in the two certificates, he obtained from the said schools,” Suleiman said.

According to him, there was no one who came forward to either contest or lay claims of ownership of the 2nd respondent’s certificates.

“There was also no one who came forward to lay claims of the certificates or credentials used by the respondent.

“The petition is, therefore, dismantled as the petitioners failed woefully to provide any evidence to defend the petition,” Suleiman ruled.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tuesday’s ruling brings to seven, the number of petitions, the Tribunal had so far delivered judgments on, out of the 14 before it.

A breakdown showed that the Tribunal had delivered judgments on three petitions on Senatorial elections with two in Kaduna central and one in Kaduna South senatorial district.

The Tribunal had also delivered judgements on two petitions on House of Representatives seats for Sanga/Jema’a and Kaura Federal constituencies.

The Tribunal equally delivered judgments on Jaba and Igabi East Constituencies in the March 9 State House of Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, the Justice Suleiman-led  Tribunal has adjourned indefinitely. (NAN)

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