Today, the Court of Appeal in Abuja is set to deliver its judgment on the appeal filed by Kano State Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, challenging the decision of the election tribunal that nullified his victory in the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.
Back in September, the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal ousted Yusuf as the governor of Kano State in Northwest Nigeria, declaring the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, as the rightful winner of the election.
Anticipation has been building across the state in recent days as the court of appeal judgment looms, with many eager to see the outcome. The Kano Police Command has issued a statement indicating that security measures have been implemented ahead of the judgment to maintain peace and order.
The security measures include the strategic placement of police officers in key locations throughout the state. Additionally, a warning has been issued against any gathering that may disrupt the peace of the state before or after the judgment.
Commissioner of Information Halilu Dantiye, speaking on behalf of the Kano State Government, has advised citizens to abide by the law during this period, cautioning against actions that could lead to trouble.
Politicians and their supporters are expressing confidence in receiving a favorable judgment, with some even declaring their readiness to celebrate with traditional rituals if their party emerges victorious in court.
In March 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Yusuf, the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), as the winner, having polled 1,019,602 votes against Gawuna of the APC, who scored 890,705 votes.
Leading up to the judgment day, both the ruling party in Kano and the Kwankwasiyya movement, as well as the opposition APC, have engaged in separate series of prayers, seeking divine intervention in their favor.
Recapping the tribunal’s decision in September, it directed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Governor Yusuf and award it to Gawuna. The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, ruled that 165,663 votes from Yusuf were invalid due to unstamped and unsigned ballot papers.
In the event of an unfavorable judgment today, legal practitioners emphasize that the aggrieved party has the right to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. According to Barrister Hasiya Imam, a legal practitioner in Kano, candidates in gubernatorial and presidential elections can take their cases to the Supreme Court, ensuring a thorough review of the matter.