Court Reserves Judgment In Kano Gov’s  Appeal

Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the appeal by the Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, challenging his removal by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Recall that the election petition tribunal on September 20 nullified the election of Yusuf by declaring 165, 663 of his votes as invalid.

The tribunal held that the ballot papers were not signed nor stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

 The tribunal therefore declared the APC candidate the winner of the governorship election.

Yusuf rejected the judgment and appealed against the tribunal verdicts and urged the court to set aside the judgment.

At the hearing of the appeal on Monday, the lead counsel for the appellant, Wole Olanipekun urged the court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

Olanipekun argued that the tribunal has created a new jurisprudence that departs from the precedent set by the appeal court and the apex court with its judgment.

The lead counsel submitted that it was the first time an election would be nullified based on non-stamping and signing of ballot papers.

He also held that the tribunal erred in referring to section 71 of the Electoral Act and citing decisions arising from the section.

According to him, the section cited relates to electoral forms and sum sheets, adding that there was no meeting point between that and the ballot papers.

He also argued that this was the first time that a political party filed a matter without joining its candidate as a party in the petition and the latter was declared winner of the polls.

Olanipekun, however, urged the court not to allow the judgment of the lower court to stand.

In his submission, the lead counsel for the first respondent, Akin Olujuimi, SAN urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

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