The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, nullified Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s election in Kano State. A three-member panel of justices unanimously decided that Governor Yusuf wasn’t a legitimate candidate during the gubernatorial election on March 18.
The court upheld that evidence presented confirmed Governor Yusuf wasn’t a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) during the election. According to the court, this made him ineligible under section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to contest the governorship.
Justice M. U. Adumeh, delivering the lead judgement, emphasized that one must be a party member to be sponsored for an election. Therefore, sponsorship without membership was deemed invalid.
As a result, the Court of Appeal affirmed the Kano state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s earlier ruling that nullified Governor Yusuf’s election. The tribunal had declared Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the rightful winner.
The tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, found irregularities in some ballot papers used to declare Yusuf as the winner and deemed 165,663 votes invalid. Consequently, Yusuf’s total votes reduced from 1,019,602 to 853,939, making Ganuwa of the APC, with 890,705 votes, as the new winner.
Governor Yusuf, displeased with the ruling, appealed to the Court of Appeal, alleging a misapplication of the law by the tribunal.