The Kano State government has implemented a 24-hour curfew in the state to prevent potential law and order issues following the removal of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf from office by the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
The tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, declared Nasir Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 2023 governorship election in the state.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Gumel, confirmed the curfew, stating that it is in effect from 6 pm on Wednesday to 6 pm on Thursday. Gumel emphasized that strict compliance with the curfew is necessary, and violators will face legal consequences.
Apprehensive traders swiftly closed their shops, and residents rushed home after the tribunal’s ruling invalidated Yusuf’s election as Kano State governor. The tribunal ordered the withdrawal of Yusuf’s certificate of return and directed the issuance of a new one to Gawuna.
The tribunal ruled that 165,663 votes for Yusuf were invalid because the corresponding ballot papers lacked signatures and stamps. This decision followed a petition filed by the APC challenging the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which initially stated that the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) had won the election.
In response to the judgment, the acting National Chairman of the NNPP, Abba Ali, expressed disbelief and regret, comparing it to the 2019 governorship election, where he claimed the tribunal awarded the election to the losing party. Ali called the judgment unfair and vowed that it would not stand, stating that the NNPP would appeal.
Bashir Wada, the NNPP’s counsel, confirmed that they would appeal the tribunal’s judgment, expressing confidence that it would be overturned on appeal. Similarly, the NNPP Presidential Campaign Council’s spokesperson, Ladipo Johnson, affirmed their intent to appeal the verdict.
Abdulrazaq Abdulsalam, spokesperson for the Agbor Major-led faction of the party in Kano, expressed disappointment with the judgment but highlighted that the party is actively considering alternative legal routes to pursue in their efforts to regain the mandate.
Governor Yusuf of Kano has taken a firm stance against the recent ruling of the state’s election tribunal, which declared Gawuna as the victor of the March 18 gubernatorial election. The governor, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Sanusi Bature, unequivocally expressed the rejection of this judgment by his supporters.
In response, he announced his intentions to pursue an appeal, deeming the tribunal’s decision as unjust. Governor Yusuf asserted, “Naturally, we will be filing an appeal against this verdict. We firmly disapprove of the judgment due to its apparent lack of fairness, and we will initiate the appeals process without delay.”
This development reflects the deep discontent within Yusuf’s camp regarding the tribunal’s decision, with his supporters strongly contesting the outcome of the election. Governor Yusuf’s determination to appeal highlights the significant legal battles that may follow in the wake of this ruling, further emphasizing the contentious nature of the election results in Kano.
In light of these circumstances, Governor Yusuf’s refusal to accept the tribunal’s verdict underscores the potential for protracted legal proceedings, as he and his supporters seek to challenge and overturn the outcome in their favor.