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Confusion in Kano as Appeal Court’s certified judgment affirms governor’s election

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Kano Governor, Abba Yusuf commended the Supreme Court judges

The release of a certified true copy of the Court of Appeal verdict on the state governorship election caused confusion in Kano State on Tuesday.

While the court’s widely reported verdict last Friday indicated that the appellate court upheld the petition tribunal’s decision to sack Governor Abba Yusuf, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Isa-Dederi, argued that the CTC of the judgment showed that Yusuf’s victory at the polls was affirmed by the appeal court.

Isa-Dederi revealed this during a presale conference on Tuesday night.

He stated that, as stated in the written judgment, the Court of Appeal overturned the Kano Election Petition Tribunal’s decision for lack of merit.

“The evidence contained on page 67 of the copy of the Appeal Court judgment released on Tuesday and signed by the Registrar, Jameel Ibrahim Umar, upheld the victory of Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party as duly elected Governor of Kano,” he said.

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Chronicle NG reports that the three-member panel of the appeal court on Friday, November 17, 2023, dismissed the appeal filed by the governor on the basis of his membership status.

Following that, the appellate court confirmed Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the state’s governorship election on March 25, 2023.

Dederi pointed out that page 67 of the certified authentic copy of the judgment plainly stated that the tribunal’s decision to fire the governor was overturned.

Contrary to what the justices read to the public in the courtroom on November 17, the commissioner argued that the written evidence has validated Yusuf as the rightful governor of the state.

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Reporters obtained a copy of the Certified True Copy (CTC) and noticed what appeared to be a mix-up in the conclusions.

According to the CTC, Justice Moore Adumein wrote in his lead opinion, “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favor of the first respondent and against the appellant.”

After being fired by the state governorship election petition tribunal, the Kano governor petitioned the Court of Appeal to overturn the tribunal’s decision. He is the appellant before the appeals court.

The top, second, and third respondents are the All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the National People’s Party, respectively.

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According to the CTC, Justice Adumein continued, “In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favor of the appellant and against the first respondent.

“Therefore, I find no merit in this appeal, which is liable to be and is hereby dismissed.

“The judgment of the tribunal in Petition No.: EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023 between: ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS. delivered on the 20th day of September, 2023, is hereby set aside.

“The sum of N1,000,000.00 (one million naira only) is hereby awarded as costs in favor of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.”

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By deciding all points in favor of the appellant (the governor of Kano State), the Court of Appeal granted the governor’s appeal to overturn the tribunal’s dismissal of him.

However, in determining that the appeal had no validity and dismissing it, he also affirmed the tribunal’s decision to remove the Kano State governor.

The judge’s final pronouncement that the tribunal’s verdict firing the governor on September 25 is set aside while awarding N1m in favor of the governor and against the first respondent (APC) accentuated the confusion in the judgment.

The appeal court’s two other justices, Justice Bitrus Sanga and Justice Lateef Ganiyu, agreed with the lead judgment.

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