The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja on Friday, sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State.
The panel of Justices of the appellate court upheld the verdict of the State Election Petitions Tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay, which earlier sacked Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) on September 20, 2023, and declared Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.
The Tribunal had declared 165,663 votes of Yusuf, who contested under the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939, while those of Nasir Gawuna, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, remained at 890,705.
Yusuf had rejected the tribunal verdict, which he described as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice”, and headed to the appeal court.
At the court, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead for Yusuf, asked that the judgment of the tribunal be set aside.
Kicking against the ruling on ballot papers, the senior lawyer said that was the first time in the history that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.
He had said the tribunal erred, arguing further that, that was the first time that a political party would file a matter without joining its candidate as a party in the petition and the candidate would declared winner of the polls.
But, Akin Olujimi SAN, counsel for APC, countered him saying the Appeal Court stated emphatically that the non-signing of ballots amounted to electoral malpractice.