Just in: Ganduje wins at Supreme Court

Governor Ganduje of Kano State

The Supreme Court on Monday affirmed Gov. Abdulahi Ganduje’s  as the dully elected governor in the March 9, 2019 governorship elections and subsequently dismissed Abba Yusuf’s appeal.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Justice Sylvester Ngwuta held that the appellant, Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), did not demonstrate any pervasiveness of the concurrent judgement of both the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

The seven-member panel of the apex court further held that the appeal had no merit and equally dismissed it.

Yusuf, the governorship candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had filed an appeal challenging the election of Gov Abdullahi  Ganduje of Kano State in the March 9, 2019 governorship elections.

He had argued that having scored the highest votes, he is the candidate that satisfied the provision of Section 179 of the Electoral Act.

Arguing through his lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, said that the returning officer who cancelled the results of 207 polling units acted ultra virus his powers and therefore null and void.

“The Returning Officer with the Independent National  Electoral Commission (INEC) unlawfully cancelled elections in 207 polling units in the 44 local government Ares of Kano state during the March last year gubernatorial election

“Section 179  of the 1999 constitution and the 69 of the INEC guideline , Awomolo said that the Returning Officer had no power under any law to have cancelled any election after collation and declaration of the elections have been made.

He, therefore, pleaded with the apex court to nullify the result of the March 23 supplementary election conducted by the Returning Officer and which led to the emergence of governor Ganduje adding that the supplementary election was unlawfully conducted after the purported cancellation

Awomolo also urged the court to uphold the result in the INEC form  EC8D as the final result of the March 9 governorship election legally conducted by INEC and reportedly won by the appellant.

But Ahmed Raji, SAN,  the first respondents’ lawyer (INEC) asked the panel to dismiss the appeal by Kabiru-Yusuf and PDP.

He sought the dismissal of the appeal on the ground that there was no established evidence of election cancellation by any Returning Officer on the election day.

Raji told the Justices that the Returning Officer was unable to collate results in the 207 polling units due to violence and snatching of election results sheets.

He specifically informed the court that it was the agent of the appellant who allegedly snatched election results sheets prompting the conduct of supplementary election in the affected polling units

He pleaded with the apex court to uphold the concurrent findings of the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal and sustain the election of Ganduje as validly conducted and lawfully declared as the governor of Kano state.

Dr  Alex Izinyon SAN, who appeared for APC argued that there is no evidence that the Returning Officer cancelled votes, but what is on record is the inability of the Returning Officer to collate the election results .

“I therefore urge my Lord to dismiss this appeal and affirm the concurrent findings of the lower courts,” he said.

However  O. E Offiong  Counsel to Gov. Ganduje urged the Supreme Court Justices to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.

Offiong said that contrary to the claim of the appellant, form  EC8E is the final result sheet for governorship election and not form EC8D adding that the appeal has no legs to stand upon. (NAN)

NAN reports on Nov. 22, the court of appeal in Kaduna reaffirmed Ganduje as the duly elected governor of Kano state.

The appellate court panel led by Tijjani Abubakar upheld the ruling of the Kano governorship election tribunal which ruled in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Ganduje, its candidate in the March election.

The panel dismissed the petitions filed by the PDP and Yusuf, governorship candidate of the opposition party, on the grounds that the petitions lack merit.

The Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) had declared Ganduje winner of the election, saying he polled 1,033,695 votes while Yusuf, his closest rival, garnered 1,024,713 votes.

Dissatisfied with INEC’s declaration, Yusuf and his party headed to the tribunal where they sought annulment of the election “on the grounds that there were irregularities”.

However, judgment was delivered in favour of the governor.

Reacting to the appellate court ruling on Friday, the PDP and its candidate said they will study the judgment and file an appeal before the apex court.

“We will get the full judgment to know the basis of the judgment before proceeding to the supreme court,” he said.

But Ibrahim Mukhtar, attorney general and commissioner for justice in Kano, said the judiciary upheld justice.

“Today’s judgement shows that the judiciary is working and there is justice in our court,” he said.