In a landmark decision that sent shockwaves through the political landscape of Kano State, the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has delivered its judgment, reshaping the destiny of the state. In a surprising turn of events, the tribunal sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasiru Gawuna, as the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship poll.
The Tribunal’s Virtual Verdict
The reading of this momentous judgment was transmitted virtually via Zoom, a teleconference service, as the panel members were not physically present in court due to unforeseen circumstances. This virtual courtroom drama added an extra layer of intrigue to an already highly anticipated decision.
A Battle of Legal Titans
The ruling comes after weeks of intense legal battles, with lawyers from both parties passionately defending their clients’ interests. The culmination of these fervent legal arguments occurred on 21 August, setting the stage for the tribunal’s historic pronouncement.
The INEC Verdict
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) initially declared that the NNPP polled a staggering 1,019,602 votes, effectively defeating the APC, whose candidate, Nasir Gawuna, secured 890,705 votes. The NNPP candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf, thus emerged victorious with a substantial margin of 128,897 votes.
The APC’s Challenge
However, the APC refused to accept defeat gracefully and promptly filed a petition at the tribunal to challenge the election results declared by the electoral body. This move triggered a legal showdown that would ultimately reshape the political landscape of Kano State.
The Tribunal’s Verdict
In a dramatic twist of fate, the three-man panel delivered a resounding verdict on that fateful Wednesday. The tribunal ordered the immediate withdrawal of the certificate of return that INEC had earlier presented to Abba Kabir Yusuf. In its place, the tribunal directed that a new certificate of return be issued to Nasiru Gawuna.
One of the pivotal points of contention during the legal battle was the validity of certain votes. The tribunal, in its wisdom, decided to deduct a significant number of votes from Abba Kabir Yusuf’s tally, amounting to 165,663 votes. The reason for this deduction was the revelation that the ballot papers, numbering 165,663, were neither stamped nor signed. Consequently, these ballots were deemed invalid and excluded from the final count.
This shocking revelation had a profound impact on the outcome of the election, ultimately leading to the tribunal’s decision to declare Nasiru Gawuna as the rightful winner.
Following the tribunal’s verdict, Kano State has been thrust into a new era of political leadership. Nasiru Gawuna, the APC candidate, has assumed the mantle of leadership, while Abba Kabir Yusuf, who initially celebrated victory, has been dethroned.
In the annals of Kano State’s political history, the events that unfolded in the wake of the March 18 governorship election will forever be etched in memory. The tribunal’s decision to sack Abba Kabir Yusuf and declare Nasiru Gawuna as the winner will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for the state’s political landscape.
As the dust settles on this historic judgment, Kano State stands at the crossroads of change and transformation. Only time will reveal the full extent of the impact of this decision on the state’s governance and the lives of its citizens.