Investigate Appeal Court ruling on Kano guber election,  NNPP urges NJC

Governor Kabir Yusuf

By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

The national leadership of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has called on the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to investigate the controversy surrending last Friday’s  Appeal Court judgement on the March 18 governorship election in Kano.

Our Correspondent reports that the Appellate Court during its verdict  upheld the decision of the Kano governorship election Tribunal which upturned the victory of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf at the polls and gave it to Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

However, on Tuesday,  a page of the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Appeal Court judgement emanated indicating victory for Governor Yusuf, instead of APC’s Nasir Yusuf Gawuna.

During a Press Conference on Wednesday, NNPP National Working Committee (NWC) called for immediate investigation into the controversial Appeal Court judgement.

The NNPP Acting National Chairman, Abba Kawu Ali  told journalists that: “We are calling on the National Judicial Council (NJC), to without delay commence investigation to unravel what happened in the matter.

“Also, we are calling on eminent members of the bench (both retired and serving) and the bar, to be interested in what happened that we have the kind of scenario presented in the CTC of the judgement of the Appeal Court.

” In addition we call on leaders, elders and other major Stakeholders in the Nigerian project, including the media, to step into this matter to avert the danger this type of signal from the judiciary portends for our democracy in particular,  and our country in general.

“From the scenario presented by the judgement, it is crystal clear that something is wrong somewhere and the onus is on all of us as Nigerians to unearth the riddle.”

NNPP insisted that: “For emphasis, this is not just a mistake that can merely be “corrected” by the Court of Appeal as it doesn’t fall within the ambit of the “Slip Rule” where a Court can recall the document and correct an error.

“Such errors must be so obvious that their correction cannot generate any controversy, regarding the Judgment or decision of the Court. By the same token, such errors must be of such nature that their correction would not change the substance of the Judgment or alter the clear intention of the Court.

“It is clear to us that the only conclusion that can be drawn from this judicial debacle is that the average reasonable person can only conclude that the Court of Appeal changed the judgement after they had concluded deliberations on the matter, and then mistakenly left the original conclusion during the cutting and pasting process!

“Whilst our legal team proceeds to lodge our appeal with the Supreme Court, we once again call for a thorough investigation of this debacle by the National Judicial Council and if need be for the appointment by the NJC,  of an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATOR to carry out the task. However, our faith in the Judiciary remains unshaken.”

The NNPP National Chairman further stated that the Appeal Court, and three Justices, Honorable Justice Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumien JCA; Honorable Justice Bitrus Gyarazama Sanga JCA;  and  Honorable Justice Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu JCA delivered their judgement in the Appeal No/ CA/KN/ EP/GOV/KAN/34/2023, on Friday, November 17, 2023.

He added that:  “All efforts to get the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the judgement for our Legal team, up till yesterday, Tuesday, November 21, 2023 to prepare our processes for the appeal proved abortive and this prompted the alarm we raised up till yesterday morning, because time was running out on us.

“We all know that the appeal must be filed within 14 days. Now we wish to inform the world that we were finally able to collect the CTC yesterday afternoon.

“To our greatest surprise, the CTC showed that the judgement delivered by Honorable Justice Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein (JCA) and concurred to by Honorable Justice Bitrus Gyarazama JCA, and Honorable Justice Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu (JCA) is actually in favour of our candidate, the Governor of Kano State, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf.

“At page 67 of the extant judgement in its conclusive findings held inter alia:

‘In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favour of the Appealant”   (Engr. Yusuf Abba Kabir)

“the judgement of the Tribunal in petition No: EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023 between the All Progressives Congress (APC) Vs INEC & 2 others delivered on the 20th day of September 2023 is hereby set aside”

“The sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) only is hereby awarded as costs in favour of the appellant (Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf) and against the 1st respondent” (APC).

“This is the complex situation we as a political party and our candidate have found ourselves.

“If at the point of delivering the judgement, there was a pronouncement that our Appeal failed but the CTC of the same judgement in its conclusive findings actually resolved all the issues in our favour, and even awarded costs in our favour against the APC, this definitely is a riddle!

“We are an interested party. We own the platform on which Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf ran for the election and was declared the winner.”

The NNPP National Leadership maintained that: “Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf is a genuine bonafide member of our great party, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).  He registered in his Diso- Chiranchi Ward in the Gwale Local Government   Area of Kano State.

” He took part in all the processes e.g. Screening in May 2022, leading to the Primaries in June 2022, where he emerged as the Candidate of NNPP. A process monitored by officials of INEC and security agencies. His name and particulars including but not limited to, information about his nomination forms, Expression of Interest Forms, membership card etc were uploaded to the INEC portal and his name was accordingly published by INEC. When there was no complaint about his nomination, his name was later published in the final list of Candidates by INEC.”