UPDATED: Tribunal declares Nasiru Gawuna winner of Kano governorship election
The Kano State Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday nullified the election of Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
It declared the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
Delivering judgment through Zoom, the three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, held that APC and Yusuf-Gawuna proved their case beyond reasonable doubt with substantial documentary evidence of over-voting.
According to the tribunal, “165,663 invalid votes were wrongly credited to Kabir-Yusuf and the election was not conducted in compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act.
“Some of the ballot papers were neither signed nor stamped.’’
It held that after the deduction of valid votes scored by the candidates, Yusuf-Gawuna scored 890,000, while Kabir-Yusuf polled 853,926 votes.
The tribunal held also that Kabir-Yusuf was not even a member of the NNPP, 30 days before party’s primary election as stipulated by the Electoral Act and was, therefore, not competent to contest.
“The position of the law is that a candidate must be a bona fide member of a political party before he is allowed to contest an election.
“The petitioners have proved their case of over-voting, violence, vandalism of ballot papers, and disenfranchisement of voters,’’ the tribunal chairman declared.
The tribunal ordered INEC to withdraw Kabir-Yusuf’s Certificate of Return and issue the same to APC’s Yusuf-Gawuna as the duly elected governor of Kano State.
Yusuf-Gawuna and the APC headed to the tribunal to challenge INEC’s declaration of Kabir-Yusuf as the winner of the said election.
Respondents in the petition were INEC, Kabir-Yusuf, and the NNPP.
INEC had earlier declared Kabir-Yusuf the winner of the poll and credited him with 1,019,602 votes against Yusuf-Gawuna’s 890,705 votes.
Yusuf-Gawuna called 32 witnesses to testify in his favour, while INEC closed its case without presenting any witness.
On the other hand, Kabir-Yusuf called only his Secretary to the State Government, Dr Abdullahi Baffa-Bichi, as witness.
His party, the NNPP did not call any witness.
Yusuf-Gawuna had also prayed the tribunal to declare that NNPP had no candidate in the election as Kabir-Yusuf was not on the register of party members submitted to INEC at the time of the election. (NAN)