Election tribunal sacks Kano State's Governor Abba Yusuf and declares APC the victor

GOVERNOR Abba Yusuf of Kano State has been removed from office by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which today declared that his opponent Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the Kano State gubernatorial elections.


On March 18, the Kano State gubernatorial elections were held and Governor Yusuf, who contested on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec). Although Mr Gawuna, his APC rival congratulated him, the party proceeded to court and today, the tribunal ruled in their favour.


This afternoon, the three-man election tribunal ordered the withdrawal of the certificate of return which Inec presented to Governor Yusuf and directed that it be issued to Mr Gawuna instead. In its ruling, the tribunal deducted 165,663 votes from Governor Yusuf's total as invalid votes, stating that the ballot papers were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.


All three grounds of the petition were resolved in favour of APC. These grounds include questions of Governor Yusuf's membership of the NNPP, non compliance with the Electoral Act and total lawful votes, relating to invalid ballot papers used in the election.


Presiding judge, Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadabey said the margin of votes scored by the NNPP was not enough to give Governor Yusuf victory. However, the NNPP has kicked against the judgement, vowing to challenge it at the Appeal Court.


Reading of the judgment was transmitted virtually via Zoom, a teleconference service as the panel judges were not physically in court. This ruling came weeks after lawyers of both parties made their closing arguments on behalf of their clients on 21 August.


Back in March, Inec had declared that the NNPP polled 1,019,602 votes to defeat the APC whose candidate, Nasir Gawuna, had scored 890,705 votes. It declared that the NNPP candidate thus won with a margin of 128,897 votes.