The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal sacking Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State.
The panel upheld the Tribunal’s verdict led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, which sacked Yusuf on September 20, 2023.
Recall that in the March 18, 2023 election, Governor, Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) was declared the winner by the Independent National Electronic Electoral Commission (INEC) with 1,019,602 votes, surpassing Nasiru Gawuna’s 890,705 votes.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) took the matter to the Tribunal, alleging electoral malpractice.
Subsequently, a three-man panel, including Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, along with two other judges, removed Yusuf from office on September 20, 2023, after declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid due to the lack of signatures or stamps from the Independent National Electoral Commission.
As a result, the governor’s votes were reduced to 853,939, while Ganuwa’s 890,705 votes remained. Yusuf immediately rejected the Tribunal’s decision, calling it “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice,” and appealed the ruling.
At the court, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead for Yusuf, asked that the Tribunal’s judgement be set aside.
Kicking against the ruling on ballot papers, the senior lawyer said that was the first time in history that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.
He added that it 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 was declared winner of the polls.