Court of Appeal sacks Kano Gov Abba Yusuf
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State.
The panel upheld the verdict of the tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay which sacked Yusuf on September 20, 2023.
Recall the lower tribunal had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir Gawuna, as the lawfully elected candidate in the 18 March election.
The three-member panel of judges in the tribunal led by Oluyemi Asadebay, had ruled in favour of the APC candidate.
After the 18 March election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that the NNPP polled 1,019,602 votes against the APC’s 890,705 to emerge victorious.
Log in to primsol.lawpavilion.com and enjoy the best E-journals, textbooks, and many more
To subscribe to Primsol, go to store.lawpavilion.com.
But the tribunal invalidated over 165,663 ballots thumb printed in favour of NNPP. The court ruled that the votes were deducted because the ballot papers with which they were cast were not stamped or signed. This rendered the votes invalid, according to the tribunal.
The tribunal said the petitioner was able to prove the allegation of the invalidity of some of the votes on the grounds that the election was not in compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Therefore, the tribunal ordered that the invalid votes be expunged from Yusuf’s scores.
Displeased with the tribunal’s judgement, Yusuf in a notice of appeal dated 2 October 2023, argued that the tribunal erred when it relied on sections 71 and 63 of the Electoral Act, 2022 to invalidate the 165,616 ballot papers returned in his favour.
The governor also said the respondent, (the APC) “did not plead with the polling units where the alleged invalid papers ballot papers were used and the tribunal was therefore wrong to accede to cancel the lawful votes”.
There was no witness presented by the first respondent to testify as to the use of any of the ballot papers in any polling unit. NNPP argued that the tribunal did not demonstrate in its judgement how it arrived at its decision on 165,616 invalid votes against the appellant.
The governor also argued in ground 20, that the tribunal misdirected itself when it went out of the judicial duties by constituting itself into witnesses, investigators and sat as judges.
The ruling is not the last of judicial pronouncement on the election, as the losing party after the Appeal Court ruling is constitutionally allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court with the final say on the electoral dispute.