Supreme Court Returns Abba Yusuf As Kano Governor

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By Kamsi Anayo

The Supreme Court has reversed the sacking of the governor of Kano state, Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria’s Peoples Party (NNPP).

The Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal had earlier removed Yusuf from office in their judgments.

Governor Yusuf scored 1,019,602 votes to defeat Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 890,705 votes.

Last September, state election petition tribunal sacked Yusuf as governor of the state by deducting 165,663 votes from his 1,019,602  because the ballot papers were not stamped, signed and dated as required by law.

However, the five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro said the deduction of 165,616 votes from the NNPP by the tribunal though was based on the Electoral Act 2022, requires that it must be proven that the ballot paper was not the ones deployed for the conduct of the election.

“There is no proof that the said ballot papers were not the one used at the election. Thus the decision of the Court of Appeal affirming the decision of the tribunal ought to be set aside,” Okoro said.

“Finally, the lower court wrongly misconstrued its evaluation of the ballot papers. This amounts to perversion.

Accordingly, all the ballot papers are restored to Gov. Yusuf,” Okoro said.

On the issue of Governor Yusuf’s membership of the NNPP, Okoro averred that the tribunal never held that Gov. Yusuf was not qualified to vie for election as erroneously held by the Court of Appeal adding that the issue of nomination is exclusively the internal affairs of a political party. Therefore, it is not justiceable.

The apex court thereafter, set aside the rulings of the tribunal and the appeal Court and upheld the election of Abba Yusuf as Kano governor.

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