The Kano State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as governor of Kano State.
While delivering its judgment, the tribunal panel that comprised of three judges also declared Yusuf Gawuna, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the March 18 gubernatorial elections.
This comes after the APC petitioned the tribunal with the argument that the number of cancelled votes exceeded the margin of victory between Yusuf and Gawuna.
According to Abdul Fagge, the APC’s legal representative, the electoral commission violated the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act by declaring a winner of the governorship election because the votes cancelled by INEC, by far, outnumbered the margin of lead between the winner and runner-up.
On Wednesday, Oluyemi Akintan-Osadabe, the lead justice of the tribunal, announced Gawuna as the winner after deducting 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s score.
Yusuf was declared the winner of the March 18 gubernatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after polling a total of 1,019,602 votes, to defeat Gawuna with 890,705 votes.
Dissatisfied with the outcome, the APC had filed a petition against Yusuf, the NNPP, and the INEC, seeking an overturn of Yusuf’s victory and the declaration of Gawuna as the winner.
The party argued that the election was marred by irregularities and faulted INEC for declaring Yusuf winner.
The APC further claimed that the governor was not a registered member of the NNPP at the time he ran for office.
“In law, before you contest any election, you must be a member of a political party. In the Electoral Act 2022, section 75 made it clear that all political parties shall submit their register to INEC not later than 30 days before the conduct of their party’s primary election,” Fagge had said as part of his closing statement.
“The name of the governor is missing in the certified true copy of the NNPP register issued by INEC.”