The Action Peoples Party (APP) and its governorship candidate in the last general elections in Zamfara State, Zayyanu Salisu Haske, have filed a petition at the Governorship Election Tribunal in Gusau, seeking the nullification of the election of Bello Mutawalle of PDP as winner.
Joined as 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively in the petition tagged EPT/ZM/GOV/2019, are PDP and INEC.
Haske’s petition is challenging INEC’s decision to issue certificate of return to Mutawalle on the grounds that he (Mutawalle) was not qualified to stand for the election having not “been educated up to the school certificate level or its equivalent,” as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act.
The petition read, “A Trade Certificate in Auto Mechanic from Vocational Training Centre, Banza, Sokoto State, which Mutawalle presented to INEC as highest educational qualification is neither a school certificate nor its equivalent.”
It argued that a report by the Evaluation and Accreditation Division of the Federal Ministry of Education, dated 28 December, 2018, had stated that the Trade Certificate relied on by the 1st respondent as evidence of educational qualification for the election was not a school certificate.
The petitioners, however, prayed that the tribunal declare that the 1st respondent, Bello Mutawalle was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election held on 9 March, 2019, for the office of Governor of Zamfara State.
They further ask that the tribunal orders the 3rd respondent, INEC, to conduct a fresh election to the office of governor of Zamfara State.
Recall that INEC had, on May 27, 2019 issued a certificate of return to Mutawalle of PDP in line with the Supreme Court judgement of May 24, 2019, which sacked the initial purported winner, Idris Shehu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).