The Katsina PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Yakubu Lado, has raised questions over the Governor Aminu Masari’s qualification to contest the election, saying the governor parades “To Whom It May Concern” not secondary school certificate.
According to the candidate of PDP, the governor also shares same age with his father.
Addressing journalists after the tribunal sitting in Katsina, counsel to Mr Lado, Gordy Uche SAN, said that it was clear from the testimony of the first witness that Mr Masari has no educational qualification for the post of governor of Katsina state.
“The first respondent claims his name is now Aminu Bello Masari, the qualification and all the certificates none of them bears the name Aminu Bello Masari. Those certificates in question bear the name Aminu Bello. So there is no basis why he is still there, that is what we are telling the tribunal,” Mr Uche said.
On the governor’s secondary education, Mr Uche stated that “what he (Governor Masari) has as Secondary School qualification is To Whom It May Concern which is not a certificate”, adding that “we have shown all these to the court, they have recorded them and we believe that these things will be used in this case.”
According to records of Mr Masari’s documentation with INEC tendered as exhibit to the election petition tribunal sitting in Katsina by Mr Uche, the governor and his father are 69 years old respectively.
The records indicate that an affidavit said to have been deposed to by Mr Masari’s father, Umaru Bello, showed that while his son was born on 29th May, 1950 which translates to 69 years in 2019, he (the father) was 51 years as at the time of the declaration on 9th August, 2001 which is exactly 69 years in 2019 same age with his son.
Another alleged discrepancy raised by the applicant (Senator Lado) before the tribunal was inconsistent dates of birth as shown on the primary school leaving certificate of the 1st respondent (Governor Masari) which differs with that of the sworn declaration of age. While the declaration of age showed that Mr Masari was born in 1950, the primary certificate on the other hand showed that he was born in 1951.
Similarly, Mr Lado claimed that the same primary certificate in question belong to one Aminu Bello, a Fulani by tribe while the respondent is known and addressed as Aminu Bello Masari, Hausa by tribe.
In the same vein, the applicant (Senator Lado) questioned a post graduate diploma presented to INEC by the respondent (Governor Masari), noting that the certificate bears no logo or stamp of the institution claimed to have been attended by the governor.
The applicant expressed optimism on the matter saying that “from the day we filed this case we have been optimistic that there will be a change and I promise there will be a change.”
Responding to the issues raised by Mr Lado, counsel to Mr Masari, Ernest Obanadike, dismissed the claims of lack of educational qualification by his client to contest the governorship election.
Mr Obanadike insisted that Mr Masari is qualified to contest the 2019 governorship election saying “our client is constitutionally qualified to be the governor of Katsina state.”
The defence counsel vowed to challenge the issues raised as the trial progresses, adding that “we prefer to test those issues in the open court”.
The tribunal chairperson, Justice Hadiza Jos adjourned the case to the 20th of June for continuation of daily hearing of the case while the prosecution counsel has seven days to present their remaining witnesses.