The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal by Abba Kabiru-Yusuf challenging the election of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
In a unanimous judgment by a five-member panel led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the apex court held that Kabiru-Yusuf had not demonstrated that the concurrent judgments of the tribunal and Court of Appeal were perverse.
The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal, including the cross appeal for lacking in merit. Others members of the panel are: Justices Kudirat Kekekere-Ekun, Olukayode Ariwoola, Amina Augie and Uwani Abba-Aji.
Recall that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad was absent when the Supreme Court commenced its judgement in the governorship appeal on Kano State. In his place, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta led the five-member panel of justices.
Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) who is counsel to PDP candidate in Kano, Abba Kabiru-Yusuf alias Abba Gida-Gida, had asked the Supreme Court to overturn the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the governorship election petition tribunal and affirm his client as winner of the March 9, 2019 election.
He said the INEC Returning Officer illegally cancelled election results from 207 polling units in the state, declared the election inconclusive and went ahead to fix March 23, 2019, for a supplementary poll. Awomolo asked the court to hold that the second election was no longer material as Kabiru-Yusuf was already leading in the main election.
But INEC counsel Ahmed Raji (SAN) asked the panel to dismiss the appeal for want of evidence to prove that the 207 polling units were cancelled by the Returning Officer. He said different reports showed that PDP agents and thugs prevented the Returning Officer from collating the results and carted them away.
Also, Governor Ganduje through his lawyers, Offiong Offiong (SAN) and M.N. Duru, argued that the submissions by Kabiru-Yusuf and PDP were based on wrong premises which did not take cognizance of the attack on the Returning Officer.
They, therefore, asked the apex court to dismiss the appeal and affirm their victory in the election.