Kano state Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf is heading to the Supreme Court following the Appeal Court judgment that ousted him from office on Friday, 17 November 2023.
Mr. Abba Yusuf describes the Appeal Court judgment as a “miscarriage of justice.
This comes after stakeholders in Kano State held extensive discussions with the governor and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
After the discussions, they decided to take the matter to the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Sanusu Bature Dawakin Tofa, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf informed the people of Kano state that they would appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court.
The alleged thief with the signboards
Governor Abba Yusuf and Ganduje
Screenshot from the video
I want to inform the good people of Kano and well-meaning Nigerians that based on the consensus of our stakeholders, we have instructed our lawyers to start the process of appealing this judgment at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
We have hope that the Supreme Court, by the grace of Allahu SWT, will set aside this miscarriage of justice by the Tribunal and the Appeal Courts and reaffirm the mandate that the good people of Kano State have given us,” the governor said.
He added that it is a temporary setback and will not deter his administration from its commitment to continue with the significant projects and programs targeted for the state.
The three-man panel led by Justice M.A Adumeh in its judgment on Friday, 17 November, stated that the NNPP governor, because his name was not on the party register, was not qualified to contest the election under a party of which he is not a member.
The court also noted that he was not properly sponsored.
All eyes were on the court of appeal in Abuja on Friday as they delivered the judgment on the appeal by Yusuf challenging the elections tribunal ruling that canceled his victory in the 2023 governorship election in the state.
In September, the Kano state governorship election petition tribunal removed Yusuf as governor of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria, declaring that the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate Nasiru Gawuna won the election.
The Kano Police Command released a statement saying they had implemented security measures ahead of the judgment to maintain peace and order.
Apart from deploying police officers to strategic locations in the state, they also warned against people coming together to disrupt the peace of the state before or after the judgment.
Kano State government, through the Commissioner of Information Halilu Dantiye, also advised people to be law-abiding, as some individuals might take advantage to cause trouble.
In March 2023, INEC declared Yusuf, the candidate of NNPP, the winner and returned him elected, stating that he polled 1,019,602 votes to defeat Gawuna of the APC, who scored 890,705 votes.
The three-member panel led by Justice M.A Adumeh held that Yusuf’s name was not on the membership register of his political party, NNPP.
He quoted a section of the electoral act that stipulates that a party must have the names of its registered members in both hard and soft copies.
He added that Abba Yusuf did not argue or resist the allegations leveled against him.
“If you claim to be a member of a party, it is not logical to say it yourself instead of someone saying it for you?” the judge asked.
He said Section 134 of the electoral act gives the court the power to entertain an averment on the qualification of a candidate for election.
Justice Adumeh stated that the court would not allow political parties to act arbitrarily.
The constitution is supreme and binding on everybody, including political parties.
“Political parties are not permitted to bypass the clear and mandatory provisions of the constitution. To contest any election, you not only need to be a member of a party but the party must sponsor you too.
“The electoral act makes it mandatory for a party to keep a register of its members and submit it to INEC before any election,” he said.
He went on to say, “Abba was not a member of his party by the time the party purportedly sponsored him. He was not qualified to contest the election.
“The court must be consistent with its judgment.”
He added that the tribunal was wrong as they did not disqualify Abba Yusuf in their ruling.
Celebrations erupted everywhere as supporters of the APC jubilated after the judgment.
What happened at the Tribunal?
On September 20, 2023, the election tribunal overseeing the Kano State governorship election in its judgment said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should withdraw the certificate of return issued to Governor Yusuf and give it to Gawuna.
The APC and their governorship candidate Nasiru Gawuna challenged the victory of Governor Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the March 18, 2023 elections.
The three-man panel led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay stated that 165,663 votes from Mr. Yusuf’s total votes were invalid.
They also noted that the ballot papers were not stamped or signed, making them invalid – thus reducing the number of votes for the NNPP candidate by 165,663.
Last resort for the loser after the Appeal Court judgment?
Barrister Hasiya Imam, a legal practitioner residing in Kano, said that a person who loses at the Court of Appeal has the right to appeal the judgment at the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land.
“You know that for governorship and presidential elections, candidates have the liberty to take their cases to the Supreme Court. So if today’s (Friday) judgment does not favour any of the candidates, they have the right to take it forward.
“So at the Supreme Court, just like at the Appeal Court, they will not waste time; it’s just two sittings for them to review what happened before and give their judgment,” Imam said.
Bauchi State Appeal Court judgment.
Meanwhile, the appeal court upheld the election of Governor Bala Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Bauchi State, dismissing the petition of the appellant Abubakar Sadiq Baba of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Appeal Court addressed all five issues raised by the appellant against INEC and Bala Mohammed.
The three-man panel led by Justice Chidiebere Uwa stated that the appellant could not prove any of the allegations he made against INEC and Bala Mohammed.
The allegations were:
Cancel the election as INEC did not follow the electoral act and guidelines.
Allege corruption and irregularities in the election.
Claim that Bala Mohammed did not get the highest lawful votes.
The court said out of the ten witnesses presented, only two were under oath, and the remaining eight claimed not to have voted in the election, and those who voted did not even vote in the polling units where they alleged irregularities.
They did not label the documents they presented to the court, and they also did not bring witnesses to testify about them. The court cannot sort out documents for them.
Source: BBC Pidgin, Ejes Gist News.