Some law experts in Nigeria on Sunday, faulted the verdict of the 2023 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Kano State, which removed the current governor of the state, who was then the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Abba Kabir Yusuf, while pronouncing Nasir Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress, as the winner of the election.
The legal experts maintained that the judgement was full of inconsistency and indicting errors.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission had earlier declared Yusuf the winner of the election, after polling 1,019,602 votes to defeat Gawuna, who scored 890,705 votes in the election.
However, APC approached the tribunal with a petition challenging the victory of Yusuf in the March 18 election in the state.
Delivering the judgement on Wednesday, the three-man panel of justices led by Oluyemi Asadebay, invalidated over 165,663 votes against the NNPP candidate, noting that they were not stamped or signed.
Reacting to the judgement on Sunday, Professor of Law, University of Ibadan, Professor S. O Adegoke, claimed that the panel demonstrated sentiments and emotions in support of the APC in the language used in the judgement.
“I use this opportunity to condemn the gang of Red Cap wearers who like a violent and terrorist cult chased us out of Kano and put us in the fear of our lives.
“We believe that only Allah is the giver of power. Those who believe in Allah must bow to his will and submit to the authority of Governmental power.
“Resort to anarchy, violence and killing can never be a source of lawful power.
“Threatening to put Honourable Judges in the danger of their life as done in Kano by some disgruntled bandits parading as politicians is hereby condemned.
“Every Judge worth his salt will always abandon and ignore any form of threat to stand by justice and pronounce justice.
“This Tribunal in the lead judgment has pronounced justice and we stand by justice. I concur with the lead Judgment and commend my lord the Chairman for delivering this judgment under the threatened fire and brimstone of bitter losers. There is always another day for politics.
“I am in no doubt that the security Agencies know and are aware of those who removed their eyes from their case and put it on the Judiciary.
“They are also aware of those who extended the threat further by declaring that they will kill the Judges. This threat must not be swept under the carpet.
“Instead of some Kano politicians to be allowed to use banditry and violence to abort Democracy in Kano State, justice will be used to stop them from destroying Democracy in Kano and upward, we do not want Anarchy and terrorism as being promoted in Kano State and as threatened by them.
“One could be forgiven to think the judgement was prepared by card-carrying members of the APC, the language used showed malice against the NNPP and it is by far the most unprofessional judgement I have seen in my 38 years in this profession.”
Similarly, the Acting Head of the Department, of Law, University of Maiduguri, Professor Tijjani Buba, while reacting, said that mentioning Nasiru Gawuna as a petitioner in the judgement when he is not, is a case of gross unprofessionalism and hostility.
Quoting the judgment on page 222, Buba said: “It is hereby determined that the Petitioner, NASIRU YUSUF GAWUNA having scored a majority of lawful votes and having met the constitutional requirement, is hereby declared the winner of the election and returned elected as the Governor of Kano State.”
Buba who described the development as a disgrace to the law profession, said: “I think the people who wrote that Tribunal judgement have a motive to disgrace the law profession and cause grace disrepute. It is the only explanation for this shameful narration as a judgment.
“I urged the National Judicial Council to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency.”