The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today November 17 affirmed the Kano state election Petition tribunal judgment that sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State and declared APC’s Nasiru Ganuwa winner of the March1 8 election.
The state tribunal in its judgment delivered on September 20, 2023 nullified INEC’s declaration of NNPP’s Abba Yusuf winner of the election. The lower court had declared 165,663 votes of Yusuf invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Yusuf’s votes were then reduced to 853,939 while those of Nasir Ganuwa, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, remained at 890,705.
Yusuf had rejected the tribunal verdict, which he described as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice”, and headed to the appeal court.
At the court, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead for Yusuf, asked that the judgement of the tribunal be set aside. Kicking against the ruling on ballot papers, the senior lawyer said that was the first time in the history that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.
He had said the tribunal erred, arguing further that, that was the first time that a political party would file a matter without joining its candidate as a party in the petition and the candidate would declared winner of the polls.
But Akin Olujimi SAN, counsel for APC, countered him saying the Appeal Court stated emphatically that the non-signing of ballots amounted to electoral malpractice.
The Appeal held that Yusuf was not even qualified to run fpr governor in the first place as he Wasn’t a registered member of the NNPP.