The Court of Appeal in Abuja has postponed its decision on the appeal filed by Kano State Governor Abba Yusuf, who is contesting his removal by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The tribunal nullified Yusuf’s election on September 20, declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid due to the absence of signatures and stamps by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ballot papers.
During the appeal hearing on November 6, the lead counsel for Yusuf, Wole Olanipekun, argued that the tribunal had set a new jurisprudence by nullifying an election based on non-stamping and signing ballot papers. He contended that the tribunal erred in citing Section of the Electoral Act regarding electoral forms and sum sheets, which is unrelated to the issue of ballot papers. Olanipekun also highlighted that it was the first time a political party had filed a petition without joining its candidate, who was subsequently declared the winner.
In response, the lead counsel for the first respondent, Akin Olujuimi, stated that the tribunal’s decision was consistent with previous court rulings and that failure to stamp and sign ballot papers constituted non-compliance. Olujuimi argued that the reference to Section 71 instead of Section of the Electoral Act should not affect the validity of the decision. He also emphasized that votes are cast for the party in an election, and any decision involving a political party encompasses all its members.
THE STORY CONTINUES BELOW THE ADVERTISEMENT
In the cross-appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olujuimi argued that the Kano State governor was not a member of the National Rescue Movement (NNPP) when the party sponsored him. The counsel for INEC, A.B. Mahmoud, urged the court to dismiss the APC’s cross-appeal, asserting that it lacked merit. Mahmoud further contended that the tribunal had exceeded its jurisdiction by scrutinizing and recounting the votes, which is not permitted by the Electoral Act.
The court has reserved its ruling on all the appeals and will announce the judgment date to the parties involved. The decision of the Court of Appeal will have significant implications for the Kano State governorship election. It may determine whether Abba Yusuf retains his position or if the APC candidate becomes the new governor of the state.
For Advert Inquiries & News/Article Publishing