The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, and declared Nasir Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress, as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
A three-member panel of the court on Friday, November 17, 2023, held that the New Nigerian Peoples Party breached the constitution by sponsoring Yusuf who was not a member of the party.
Premium Politics reported earlier, that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the State, sacked the governor while declaring the APC candidate as the winner of the election.
It was also reported that Governor Yussuf who was dissatisfied with the tribunal ruling, approached the appeal court, seeking to upturn the judgment of the tribunal which sacked him, and declared Nasir Gawuna as the true winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
A three-man panel of judges led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay had on September 20, 2023, sacked Yusuf, by declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid because they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, the governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939, after deducting the unsigned votes, while those of Nasir Ganuwa remained at 890,705.
Yusuf however rejected the tribunal verdict, describing it as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice”, while heading to the appeal court.
The lead counsel for Yusuf at the appeal court, Wole Olanipekun SAN, asked that the judgement of the tribunal be set aside.
Speaking against the ruling on ballot papers, Olanipekun argued that this is the first time in history, that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.
The senior lawyer maintained that the tribunal erred, arguing further that, that was the first time that a political party would file a matter without joining its candidate as a party in the petition and the candidate would be declared winner of the polls.
In his argument, the counsel to the APC, Akin Olujimi SAN, countered that the Appeal Court stated emphatically that the non-signing of ballots, amounts to electoral malpractice.
Olujimi further argued that INEC regulations have also set out what presiding officers are to do at the point of voting, maintaining that the back of ballot papers must be signed and dated.
However, the appeal court on Thursday, announced that the judgment would be delivered on Friday.
The appellate court had earlier reserved the
judgement, promising that a date would be communicated to the parties involved.