The joy of the residents of Kano State, Nigeria knew no bound as the successful verdict they were all holding their breath for was granted. Today, the 12th of January, 2024, the supreme court has confirmed and ruled that Governor Abba Yusuf remains the duly elected Governor of Kano State.
How It All Begun…The election
During the governorship election in Kano State, which held in March 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Abba Yusuf as the winner and the incoming governor of the state governorship election. According to the scores, Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) amassed 1, 019, 602 votes , defeating Yusuf Gawuna, the All People’s Congress (APC) candidate who recorded 890,705 votes.
Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived for the already sworn-in governor. By September 2023, the Governorship Petition Tribunal requested a recall. After investigation, the tribunal deducted 165,663 votes from Abba Yusuf’s claiming it was due to those votes not being stamped , signed, and dated according to the law.
Abba Yusuf was sacked.
The Verdict Was Challenged
Not being one to go down without a fight, Abba Yusuf and his party NNPC challenged the verdict and took the case to the Appellate Court.
The five member panel led by John Okoro held that the tribunal was wrong to have invalidated 165,663 votes from the votes polled by Yusuf. The tribunal had deducted the votes because the said ballot papers were not stamped and signed by INEC pursuant to Section 71 of the Electoral Act. However, the apex court held that the ballot papers cannot be invalidated because they came from the booklet of ballot papers which carried official logos and the map of Nigeria.
The court held that the petitioners failed to prove that the said ballot papers were not part of the booklet of ballot papers deployed by INEC and furnished to presiding officers in the various polling units. On the issue of party membership, the court held that it is an internal affair that cannot be challenged by a member of another party. Consequently, the court held that “the judgment of the lower court voiding the election of the appellant is hereby set aside”.
Joy And Justice
Abba Yusuf expresses his joy over the judgement:
“I feel extremely happy, as you can see, so many people are happy and cheering. So, I feel happy. I feel extremely happy with the judgment of the Supreme Court that took place today, January 12, 2024. The supreme court has confirmed that there was no illegality as far as the election is concerned.”
“They were saying illegal ballot papers. INEC had confirmed that the ballot papers belonged to them; they were issued by them and the supreme court justices have just confirmed that also, that there was no illegality and the people are aware. I feel justified, I feel that, that issue has been set aside because there was no justifications whatsoever.”
Governor Abba Yusuf sends his appreciation to the people of Kano and Nigerians for their support.
News Source: https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-abba-yusuf-remains-duly-elected-governor-of-kano-supreme-court-rules#google_vignette