The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ruled to unseat Abba Yusuf as the Governor of Kano State, affirming the earlier decision of the election petition tribunal that invalidated Yusuf’s election.
In a unanimous judgment delivered on Friday, a three-member panel, led by Moore Adumein, declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship election in Kano State. The tribunal had earlier declared Gawuna the winner, citing the nullification of invalid votes cast in favor of Yusuf.
However, the Court of Appeal based its decision on the disqualification of Yusuf as a candidate, asserting that he was not a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) at the time of the election. The court emphasized that without proper party membership, Yusuf’s nomination was invalid according to Section 177 (c) of the constitution.
“The tribunal was wrong not to have disqualified the appellant, Governor Yusuf,” the judge ruled. “The failure of NNPP to properly sponsor Mr. Yusuf is fatal to their case. This appeal is hereby dismissed, and the sum of N1 million is awarded as cost against Governor Yusuf.”
Abba Yusuf, who won the election on the NNPP platform, had initially secured victory with the backing of the Kwankwasiya Movement and former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso. However, the tribunal declared 165,663 of his votes invalid, leading to Gawuna being recognized as the lawfully elected candidate.
Despite the Court of Appeal’s decision, the legal battle may continue, as either party can appeal to the Supreme Court.