The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday justified the sacking of Kano Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf, saying he was not a valid candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the March 18 state gubernatorial election.
Persecondnews reported earlier on Friday that the appellate court had upheld the sacking of Yusuf by the State Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal.
The appellate court’s judgment is coming barely two months after the tribunal nullified the governor’s election.
In a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices ed by Justice M. U. Adumeh, the court held that Gov. Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the March 18 election.
The panel said that evidence that was adduced by the parties established that Yusuf was not a member of NNPP at the time the election was held, adding that
under Section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Yusuf was not qualified to contest the governorship election since he was not validly sponsored by the NNPP.
“A person must be a member of a political party before he can be sponsored for an election.
“Sponsorship without membership is like putting something on nothing,” Justice Adumeh said.
Persecondnews recalls that Yusuf of the NNPP was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electronic Electoral Commission (INEC) with 1,019,602 million votes, surpassing the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasiru Gawuna’s 890,705 votes.
APC and Gawuna, not satisfied with the result, challenged Yusuf’s victory at the tribunal, alleging electoral malpractice.
Consequently, a three-man panel headed by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, in a virtual ruling, held that some ballot papers that were relied upon to declare Yusuf as the winner of the gubernatorial contest, were neither signed nor stamped by INEC.
The panel, thereafter, sacked Yusuf from office on September 20, 2023, after declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid due to the lack of signatures or stamps of the INEC.
As a result, the governor’s votes were reduced to 853,939, while Ganuwa’s 890,705 votes remained.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Gov. Yusuf approached the appellate court to set it aside.