The Appeal Court will today, November 17, give judgment on the appeals from the election petitions tribunals of Kano State and Bauchi State.
The court will rule on the appeals filed by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State, his party the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging the judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which had removed the governor and declared Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the authentic winner.
Recall that a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay sacked Yusuf on September 20, by declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid because they were not signed or stamped by the INEC.
The governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939 while those of Gawuna remained at 890,705.
Reacting, Governor Yusuf rejected the tribunal verdict, describing it as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice.”
At the appellate court, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel for Yusuf, asked that the judgement of the tribunal be set aside. He said this is the first time in history that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.
He also said the tribunal erred, arguing that, that 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 would be declared winner of the polls.
But Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel for APC, countered saying the Appeal Court stated emphatically that the non-signing of ballots amounted to electoral malpractice.
The appellate court had after the hearing reserved judgement.
For Bauchi State, the APC and its governorship candidate, former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had challenged the judgment of the election petition tribunal, which affirmed the re-election of Bala Muhammad of the PDP.