Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has petitioned the All Progressives Congress, APC, over claims that its gubernatorial candidate in Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, emerged the APC gubernatorial candidate in Katsina about a fortnight ago, polling about 50 percent of total votes cast to defeat three other aspirants.
In his petition dated December 17, the radical lawyer warned that if the APC went ahead to field the former speaker in the 2015 governorship elections, those claims could earn him a disqualification from INEC, or if he won, a removal from office.
“Kindly note, that in the year 2011, the subject of this petition, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari contested for the office of Governor of Katsina State under the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC”, Mr. Keyamo said in the petition. “In filling Form CF-001 (Personal Particulars of Candidate), he alleged that he has a Post-Graduate Diploma. As evidence of this, he attached a Certificate in ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Water Quality Control and Management’ from Middlesex Polytechnic, United Kingdom”.
The lawyer filed the petition on behalf of five APC members in Katsina State – Ibrahim Yadullah, Kabir Mamman, Aminu Hashirmu, Falalu Sale and Ya’u Sule.
A simple inquiry that was made in the said polytechnic, according to Mr. Keyamo, elicited a response that no such course was offered by the school in the said year.
“Kindly find attached the said response by email. We encourage you to do your own inquiry from the said Institution and draw your own conclusion.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 182(1)(J) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states as follows:
‘182 (1) No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if
(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission’”.
Keyamo, therefore, called on the APC to either substitute Mr. Masari or conduct fresh primaries in the state.
“We need not emphasize the need for your Party that prides itself on the mantra of “Change” to depart from the tradition of other parties that have fielded questionable characters in the past,” he said.
“The danger of sticking with Aminu Bello Masari as your candidate for Katsina State despite the above facts is all too obvious because we are prepared to proceed to court if you fail to act decisively. We need not say more”.