The certified judgment from the appeal court affirming the Kano governor’s election sparks confusion.

Busy Bee
Busy Bee November 22, 2023
Updated 2023/11/22 at 10:24 AM

On Tuesday, confusion enveloped Kano State as a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Court of Appeal judgment on the state’s gubernatorial election surfaced. The widely publicized decision from the court on the preceding Friday had seemingly upheld the petition tribunal’s ruling to remove Governor Abba Yusuf. However, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Isa-Dederi, contended that the CTC of the judgment revealed the affirmation of Yusuf’s victory at the polls by the appeal court.

Isa-Dederi conveyed this information during a press conference on Tuesday night. He explained that, as outlined in the written judgment, the Court of Appeal nullified the decision of the Kano Election Petition Tribunal, citing a lack of merit. “The evidence on page 67 of the CTC of the Appeal Court judgment, released on Tuesday and signed by Registrar Jameel Ibrahim Umar, indicates that the appellate court upheld the victory of Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party as the duly elected Governor of Kano,” he stated.

The PUNCH reported that on Friday, November 17, 2023, the three-member panel of the appeal court dismissed the governor’s appeal based on his membership status. Subsequently, the appellate court affirmed Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the governorship poll held on March 25, 2023, in the state.

Dederi observed that on page 67 of the certified true copy of the judgment, it was explicitly stated that the tribunal’s decision to remove the governor had been overturned.

The commissioner maintained that, contrary to what the justices announced to the public in the courtroom on November 17, the written evidence has exonerated Yusuf as the legitimate governor of the state.

Our correspondent acquired a copy of the certified true copy and identified what seems to be a confusion in the conclusions.

According to the certified true copy, in his leading judgment, Justice Moore Adumein wrote, “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favor of the first respondent and against the appellant.”

The governor, who had previously been removed by the state governorship election petition tribunal and had approached the Court of Appeal to overturn the tribunal’s decision, is the appellant before the appellate court.

The All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the NNPP are the first, second, and third respondents, respectively.

According to the certified true copy, Justice Adumein continued, “In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favor of the appellant and against the first respondent.”

Hence, I discern no validity in this appeal, and it is hereby dismissed.

The tribunal’s decision in Petition No.: EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023, involving AL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS., issued on September 20, 2023, is annulled.

A sum of N1,000,000.00 (one million naira only) is granted as costs in favor of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.

The Court of Appeal, by favoring the appellant (Yusuf) in all matters, effectively endorsed the governor’s appeal to overturn his removal by the tribunal. However, the dismissal of the appeal and the statement of finding no merit mean that the tribunal’s decision to remove the governor is upheld.

The confusion in the judgment is heightened by the judge’s final pronouncement, setting aside the tribunal’s September 25 decision to remove the governor, while simultaneously awarding N1 million in favor of the governor and against the first respondent (APC).

Justices Bitrus Sanga and Lateef Ganiyu, the other two justices of the appeal court, concurred with the lead judgment.

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