Zamfara governorship: Tribunal issues orders to petitioner’s counsel

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The Zamfara Governorship Election Tribunal, on Monday, ordered counsel to the Action People’s Party (APP) candidate to put their house in order, by filing necessary court papers on change in counsel.

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NAN reports that Alhaji Zayyanu Salisu of the APP, filed a petition at the Governorship Election Tribunal, seeking the nullification of the election of Bello Mutawalle of PDP as winner.

Also joined as second and third respondents in the petition tagged EPT/ ZM/GOV/2019, are the PDP and INEC.

Justice Fatima Zeberu, fixed the date, after Prof. Agbo Madaki, who has been appearing in the matter for the APP, informed the court that he was in court for the matter.

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But, Mr Obed Agu, also introduced himself as the counsel representing the APP.

Prof. Madaki, argued that there was no notice by Salisu of APP, asking a change in counsel.

”If there was a change, the proper measures was not adopted and it was the height of professional misconduct by his learner colleague Agu.

“I got a call asking me to continue with the case, and in this case my life and that of my family has been threatened,” he said.

However, Agu argued that the second petitioner Salihu has never asked Prof. Madaki to represent him.

He said that the notice of change of counsel was under Rule 54 of the Rules of Practices for Election Petitions made pursuant to Electoral Act 2010 (as amended ) and order 9 Rule 35 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules, 2009).

“The second petitioner has never asked the counsel of Madaki to represent him. Salihu wrote a letter disengaging the law firm of Prof. Madaki to represent. The firm has been served a notice,” he added.

NAN reports that Salisu’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.

He 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 Mutawalle was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election held on March 9, for the office of Governor of Zamfara.

They further asked that the tribunal orders the 3rd respondent, INEC, to conduct a fresh election to the office of governor of Zamfara State.