Abba Yusuf
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Breaking: Supreme Court nullifies sack of Kano Governor, Abba Yusuf

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.

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The legal tussle over the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Kano State was on Friday laid to rest as the Supreme Court affirmed the election of Engr. Kabir Abba Yusuf of NNPP as the governor of Kano State.

The apex court, in its landmark judgment, reversed the sack of Yusuf as Kano Governor by the Court of Appeal, on September 20, 2023.

Justice John Okoro, who read the lead Judgment, said the Court of Appeal was wrong in affirming the decision of the tribunal, which held that Engr. Yusuf did not win the majority of lawful votes cast in the governorship poll.

The apex court held that the tribunal was wrong in deducting the votes that accrued to the governor.

Persecondnews recalls that Yusuf of NNPP was declared the winner of the March 18, 2023 election by the Independent National Electronic Electoral Commission (INEC) with 1,019,602 million votes, surpassing the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Nasiru Gawuna, who had 890,705 votes.

APC and Gawuna not satisfied with the result, challenged Yusuf’s victory at the tribunal, alleging electoral malpractice.

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.

As a result, the governor’s votes were reduced to 853,939, while Ganuwa’s 890,705 votes remained.

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 INEC.

Yusuf immediately rejected the tribunal’s decision, calling it “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice,” and appealed the ruling.

On its part, the Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices, led by Justice M. U. Adumeh, on November 13, held that Governor Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the March 18 gubernatorial election.

The panel said that evidence that was adduced by the parties established that Governor Yusuf was not a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) at the time the election was held, pointing out 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.

He was also sacked as governor by the appellate court.

However, Nigerians were thrown into confusion when a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the verdict emerged, contradicting what was read at the appellate court.

The CTC contained several paragraphs, some of which had affirmed Governor Yusuf’s victory.

In the CTC released to lawyers, some contradictions also appeared to give verdict in favour of both the appellant and the first respondent, APC.

Many supporters of the appellant and some lawyers pointed out that what the justices read in court was different from what was contained in the CTC, and insisted that the CTC, being a written document, was the original judgment.

Reacting to the controversies surrounding the judgment, the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Umar Bangari, said what happened in the judgment body was a “clerical error” that did not in anyway invalidate or change the findings and conclusion of the court.

He assured Nigerians that the error would be rectified once parties in the matter file formal application to that effect.

He insisted that contrary to insinuations, the judgment of the court remained valid.

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