Appeal Court Sacks Niger PDP Lamaker, Declares Kasim Winner

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Suleiman Wanchiko as the winner of Bida I (North) State Constituency election in Niger State.
To this end, the court on Tuesday declared Bako Kasim of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the poll.
The three-member panel while delivering the judgment through Justice Bature Isa-Gafai, held that Wanchiko’s appeal was unmeritorious.
But the court also agreed with Kasim’s counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, that Wanchiko, having presented a forged testimonial to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ought to be disqualified from contesting the election.
Recall that INEC had declared Wanchiko winner of the Bida I (North) Constituency election for the Niger State House of Assembly election held on March 18, 2023.
Wanchiko polled 12, 062 votes as against the 11, 820 votes scored by Kasim.
Dissatisfied with the election result, Kasim and APC, through their Counsel, Mr Usman approached the state’s election petition tribunal via petition number: EPT/NG/SHA/11/2023 between Bako Kasim and another Vs. Suleiman Muhammad Wanchiko and another.
Kasim filed the petition on the grounds that Wanchiko was not qualified to contest in the election, given that he submitted forged testimonial to INEC and that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
The tribunal aligned with the petitioners’ arguments, disqualified Wanchiko and ordered a re-run without him.
Still irked with the judgment of the tribunal, Wanchiko, through his counsel, Aliyu Lemu, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal, praying the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal.
Mr Kasim’s lawyer also pleaded with the court to dismiss the appeal and return his client as the winner of the election.
Sadly, the court of appeal upheld Usman’s argument that Wanchiko, having been disqualified, that it is proper to return Kasim as the winner of the poll and directed INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *