Final move: Embattled Kano Governor heads for Supreme Court

Kano Gov. Yusuf

Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State  on Saturday announced his intention to appeal against Friday’s dismissal of his election by the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court.

“I hereby inform the people of Kano State and well-meaning Nigerians that based on consensus of our stakeholders we have instructed our lawyers to appeal against the judgment at the Supreme Court.

“We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will set aside these miscarriages of justice by the Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court.

“We are also optimistic that the Supreme Court will reaffirm our mandate given by the people of Kano State,’’ he said in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Bature Dawakin-Tofa.

Yusuf called on Kano State people to go about their legitimate businesses as government had taken necessary measures to ensure the security of their lives and properties as a cardinal responsibility.

He assured that the temporary setback would not deter his administration from its commitment to continue with its laudable projects and programmes to restore the lost glory of the state.

He said he would instead roll out more initiatives to deliver dividends of democracy to citizens and residents of Kano State.

Yusuf also called on people of the state and other well-meaning Nigerians to continue to pray for Kano for God’s mercy and protection to save the state from injustice and from mischief makers.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja nullified Yusuf’s election on Friday in a unanimous ruling by the three-man panel on the ground that he was not a valid candidate in the March 18 gubernatorial election.

The court stated that evidence presented by parties convincingly established that Yusuf was not a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) at the time of the election.

It held that this made Yusuf ineligible to contest the governorship election under the 1999 Constitution as amended, 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 M. U. Adumeh, panel chairman stated while delivering the judgment.

The appellate court consequently affirmed the earlier judgment of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which had nullified Yusuf’s election.

In a virtual judgment read on Sept. 20, the Election Petition Tribunal ousted Yusuf from office and declared Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.

The tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, determined that certain ballot papers, pivotal in declaring Yusuf as winner, lacked the necessary INEC signatures and stamps.

Consequently, 165,663 votes credited to the NNPP candidate were declared invalid.

After deducting the invalidated votes, Yusuf who was initially declared winner with 1,019,602 votes, saw his tally reduced to 853,939 votes.

In the turn of events, his closest rival, Gawuna, the APC candidate, emerged as the new winner with 890,705 votes.


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