Founder of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has expressed his dismay over the Appeal Court judgment that removed the Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, from office on Friday.
The court had ruled that Yusuf was not a valid member of the NNPP when he contested and won the governorship election. It ordered that the APC’s Nasiru Gawuna be sworn in as the new governor.
Aniebonam, however, challenged the court’s decision, saying that only the NNPP and its members can determine who belongs to the party, not the judiciary.
He said in a statement on Saturday, “I do know that it is only the NNPP and its members that can determine who is a member of the party. I also know that a party and its members can bring into the party, and grant such a person a waiver to go into election and represent the party in an election. I also know and believe that it is only someone who contested nomination under NNPP that can challenge the membership of the party in an election. To the contrary, no other person has the right to raise objection.”
He added that the NNPP had the power to sponsor any candidate by giving them a waiver to run on its platform. He insisted that no external entity has the right to question a candidate’s NNPP membership except rival aspirants who vied for the nomination.
He urged the party members and the people of Kano to remain calm and hopeful as the NNPP plans to appeal the judgment at the Supreme Court.
“Our hope is alive ahead the Supreme Court judgment in due time. I hereby encourage all members of our great party and indeed the indigenes of Kano in particular to keep faith with the final decision of God under this avoidable circumstances,” he said.
Yusuf, who became the governor in May after a run-off election, now faces a legal battle to retain his seat following his latest court defeat. The NNPP is expected to file an appeal at the Supreme Court soon.