Judges of the Kano governorship election tribunal have declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in last March’s election, Nasiru Gawuna, the winner, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a Certificate of Return.
The tribunal’s judgment has led to palpable tension in the state capital as security forces are said to be on alert.
Earlier in the day, the judges were not physically present in court, but delivered their judgment via zoom to the hearing of lawyers and journalists.
Effectively, they removed Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as governor of the Northwestern state, which has the second highest population in the country.
According to the three-man panel headed by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay165,663 votes of Yusuf’s total votes were invalid, because they were not stamped or signed.
It was speculated that the judges were not physically present in court because of a threat to their lives, by a state commissioner who was promptly sacked by then Governor Yusuf.
Said the former Commissioner of Land and Physical Planning, Adamu Kibiya, at a protest march by the NNPP supporters, “People voted for us and some people are attempting to do injustice. We want to tell the judges that we will not accept this. Any judge that is willing to deprive us of our rights will regret it. Whatever will happen, we won’t care….”