Ganduje wins at Supreme Court

Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, on Monday, won his case at the Supreme Court leading to the validation of his election in 2019.

The Supreme Court in its judgment dismissed the appeal by Abba Kabiru-Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Ganduje in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment by a five-member panel led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, held that Kabiru-Yusuf did not demonstrate that the judgments of the tribunal and Court of Appeal were perverse. The court, therefore, dismissed the appeal, including the cross appeal for lacking in merit. Other members of the panel include: Justices Kudirat Kekekere-Ekun, Olukayode Ariwoola, Amina Augie and Uwani Abba-Aji.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, was Absent at the judgment on the Kano election suit.  Justice Sylvester Ngwuta stood in for the CJN to lead the five-member panel of justices.

Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel to the PDP candidate in Kano, Abba Kabiru-Yusuf, alias Abba Gida-Gida, had requested 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.

Counsel to INEC, Ahmed Raji (SAN), countered the argument, demanding 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.

Counsels to Governor Ganduje, Offiong Offiong (SAN) and M.N. Duru, had 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.