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Appeal court upholds judgment sacking Abba Yusuf as Kano governor

Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano state Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano state

The court of appeal in Abuja has affirmed the verdict of the Kano state governorship election petition tribunal.

The tribunal had sacked Abba Yusuf, candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), as governor of the state.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court held that the NNPP breached the constitution by sponsoring Yusuf, who was not a member of the party when the election was held.

The court held that Yusuf’s name was not in any of the membership registers of the NNPP tendered before the tribunal — a contravention of section 177(c) of the 1999 Constitution.

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“A person must be a member of a political party before he can be sponsored for an election,” U. Adumeh, the lead judge, held.

“Sponsorship without membership is like putting something on nothing.”

THE TRIBUNAL’S VERDICT

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In September, the tribunal nullified the victory of Yusuf in the governorship election.

The tribunal also affirmed Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor of Kano.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Yusuf as the winner of the election after he polled 1,019,602 votes to defeat his closest rival, Gawuna, who scored 890,705 votes.

During the proceedings, the tribunal deducted 165,663 votes from what was recorded for Yusuf on the grounds that the ballot papers (165,663) were not stamped, signed and dated as required by law.

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Yusuf was left with 853,939 votes after the deduction.

The court declared the 165,663 votes recorded from the affected ballot papers invalid while ordering INEC to issue a certificate of return to the APC candidate.

Displeased with the verdict of the tribunal, Yusuf headed for the appellate court.

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