The Abuja Division of the Appeal Court, situated in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has removed Kano State Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf from office. The panel of justices, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, delivered this decision on Friday, supporting the State Election Petition Tribunal’s ruling issued on September 20.
The Tribunal, during its proceedings, had invalidated 165,663 votes attributed to Yusuf in the state governorship election held on March 18. These votes, assigned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were deemed invalid due to lacking signatures or stamps from the electoral body.
Initially, INEC declared Yusuf, representing the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), as the winner over the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir Ganuwa. However, the Tribunal revised Yusuf’s vote count to 853,939 and Ganuwa’s to 890,705, ultimately declaring the APC candidate as the legitimate winner.
Unsatisfied with the Tribunal’s decision, Yusuf appealed to the higher court, where lead counsel Wole Olanipekun (SAN) argued for setting aside the tribunal’s judgment. Olanipekun contended that the annulment of an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers by INEC was unprecedented. He emphasized that the tribunal had erred, attributing the fault to INEC rather than considering it as a result of overvoting, as presented by Ganuwa and the APC.
In contrast, counsel for the APC, Akin Olujimi (SAN), countered this argument, maintaining that the non-signing of ballots constituted electoral malpractice.