Mukthar Umar-Zakari, the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP) candidate and defendant, has contested the election tribunal's decision regarding an alleged certificate forgery. He asserts that the charges against him were misunderstood due to his legally executed name change prior to the elections.
Mukthar Umar-Zakari, the NNPP House of Representative Candidate for Tarauni Federal Constituency, recently unseated by the Kano State election tribunal, has announced his intention to seek recourse through the appellate court.
This decision follows the tribunal's ruling that invalidated his election due to an alleged case of certificate forgery reported to the independent national electoral commission (INEC) before the general elections.
The tribunal panel, led by Justice I.P. Chima, ruled in favor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hafizu Kawu, as the winner of the election.
Addressing the situation, Umar-Zakari contested that the evidence presented as proof in the tribunal differed from the result submitted to INEC before the election. He clarified that the discrepancies concerning his certificate arose from his lawful name change executed according to statutory provisions.
He said: “...In my desire to link my two names to the family, I added Zakari to my name and turned Mukthar Umar-Zakari after meeting all the legal and constitutional procedures regarding the change of names.
“These are :swearing an affidavit; newspaper publication; gazetted the name as required and obtained; deed poll.” He stated that he had executed his change of name even before the elections, and all legal documents were submitted to the electoral body for verification and were duly certified and received.
Umar-Zakari expressed his desire to seek redress at the appellate court to reclaim his mandate and prove that he is a law-abiding citizen who has respect and gives credence to the rule of law.
He said: “I do hope the Appeal Court will use the discretion bestowed on them by the constitution of the Federation of Nigeria to review the judgement passed by the honourable justice of the tribunal in the interest of peace, stability, rule of law, and constitutional democracy.”