The Court of Appeal in Abuja has sacked Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as the governor of Kano State and declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the 18 March governorship election
A three-man panel of the appellate court led by Moore Adumein, in a unanimous decision on Friday upheld the decision of the lower election petition tribunal on September 20 which nullified the governor’s election.
The Court of Appeal anchored its decision on disqualification of Mr Yusuf as a candidate in the election saying he was not a member of the NNPP as of the time of the election.
“Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP as of the time he was purportedly sponsored on 18 March for the Kano Governorship election,” the judge ruled.
“The tribunal was wrong not have disqualified the appellant, Governor Yusuf. The failure of NNPP to properly sponsor Mr Yusuf according to Section 177 (c) of the constitution, is fatal to their case.
“All the nine issues are hereby resolved against the appellant, the judge held. This appeal is hereby dismissed. The sum of N1 million is awarded as cost against Governor Yusuf,” Mr Adumein declared.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mr Yusuf as the winner of the 18 March election with 1,019,602 votes against Mr Gawuna’s 890,705 votes.
The lower court in its ruling had ruled that some ballot papers that led to Yusuf’s victory were neither signed nor stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
It went on to declare 165,663 of the votes that were credited the NNPP candidate as invalid and consequently deducted the said invalid votes from Yusuf, who was initially declared winner of the thereby reducing his votes to 853, 939 votes.
With the development, APC’s Ganuwa, emerged as the winner of the election with 890,705 votes.
However, the governor appealed against the tribunal’s decision at the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal’s decision might not be the final, Yusuf can still appeal to the Supreme Court.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.