Regarding the Kano governorship appeal, the Appeal Court has reserved decision between Gov. Abba Yusuf and Nasiru Gawuna.


Regarding the Kano governorship appeal, the Appeal Court has reserved decision between Gov. Abba Yusuf and Nasiru Gawuna.In the governorship appeal involving Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the Appeal Court in Abuja has deferred its decision.

Governor Yusuf is contesting the ruling of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which pronounced APC candidate Gawuna the victor of the state's March 18 governorship election.

Based on the deduction of 165,616 fraudulent votes cast in favor of the NNPP candidate, the lower court presided over by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay had declared the victory of Governor Yusuf to be illegitimate. The APC's request to void Yusuf's election on the grounds that the ballots were not INEC-signed, dated, or stamped was met with opposition from the Tribunal.

The tribunal therefore subtracted the invalid 165,616 votes from the 1,019,602 total votes cast that had previously been declared in Yusuf's favor to arrive at 853,939, which was less than Gawuna's 890,705 votes.

Lead counsel for the appellant, Wole Olanipekun SAN, sought the court to strike aside the tribunal's verdict in its entirety due to its lack of merit at the beginning of the hearing on Monday.

Olanipekun contended that the Tribunal had set new precedents that deviated from all appellate or Supreme Court rulings, especially in regards to the invalidity of votes and the eligibility of party candidates.

On behalf of the appellant, Governor Yusuf, the Senior Advocate contended that this is the first electoral trial in history where a court has overturned an election due to non-signatures on the back of ballots.

In addition, he argued that it was illegal for the court to declare the winner of the polls and to accept a political party's petition in a case without the candidate's participation.

Akin Olujimi SAN, the APC's attorney, stated in his response about the validity of ballots that all matters pertaining to non-signature ballots as electoral malpractice have been definitively resolved by Appeal Court rulings dating back to 2009.

He maintained that INEC regulations specify the duties of presiding officers at the polling place and added that ballots must be signed and dated on the back.

According to him, it is considered non-compliance with the Electoral Act when presiding authorities fail to take necessary action.

Regarding the APC candidate who did not register as a party with the Tribunal, Olujimi stated that it is established law that party votes are cast in elections and that a political party's decisions influence all of its members.

Olujimi also sought the court to rule that the Kano State governor was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was sponsored by the party in the APC's cross-appeal.

The appeal's court has postponed ruling until a later time that will be announced to the parties.

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