Different Strokes: Appeal Court Sacks Kano Gov Yusuf, Affirms Bauchi Gov Bala

  • Returns APC’s Nasir Gawuna as Kano Governor-elect

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO AND EDMOND ODOK – In a typical scenario of different strokes for different people, the Appeal Courts sitting in Abuja on Friday delivered judgments that generated frustration in the camp of Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State while eliciting celebrations for supporters of Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State.

The Appellate Court, in affirming the nullification of Governor Yusuf’s victory in the March 18 governorship election, upheld the appeal of Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was not a registered member of the party and, therefore, not qualified to contest the election.

A three-member panel of justices led by Justice Moore A. Adumein held that every political party shall maintain the register of its members as provided in Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The Court said the appellant to his own detriment did not submit his NNPP membership registrar or even tendered his statement on oath regarding his membership of the party, stressing that the 1999 Constitution made it mandatory for a political party to have a membership register and submit the same to INEC and the Tribunal when needed.

“As rightfully found, Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was purportedly sponsored by his party and he was not qualified to contest the March Governorship Election,” Justice Adumein said.

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on September 20 overturned the Independent National Electronic Electoral Commission (INEC)’s announcement of Yusuf with 1,019,602 votes against Gawuna’s 890,705 votes following APC’s petition.

The APC had alleged electoral malpractices and in nullifying the election, the tribunal agreed with the APC that over 160,000 ballot papers “were not signed or stamped by INEC.”

Consequently, Governor Yusuf’s votes were reduced by 165,663 to 853,939 while Ganuwa’s original 890,705 votes were upheld by the Tribunal as valid.

Bala Retains Bauchi Govt House
For Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State, the celebrations continue as the Court of Appeal in Abuja again dismissed the appeal challenging his March 18, 2023 electoral victory.

A three-member panel on Friday unanimously held that the appeal by AVM Sadique Abubakar (rtd), candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lacks merit.

The lead judgment read by Justice Chidiebere Nwaoma Uwa on Friday saw the panel ruling that Abubakar and the APC failed to prove the allegations of malpractices and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022 against Governor Mohammed and the PDP.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mohammed victorious in the March 18 gubernatorial election, but AVM Abubakar (rtd) and APC rejected the results and headed for the Tribunal which upheld the election prompting him to proceed to the Appeal Court to further ventilate his grievances.

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