The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has deducted 165,663 votes from Governor Kabir Abba Yusuf’s total as invalid votes.
It also noted that the ballot papers (165,663) were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.
With this and other considerations, the tribunal removed Governor Yusuf and declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) Yusuf Nasir Gawuna winner of the March 18 election.
On Wednesday, the three-man panel headed by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, ordered the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return it presented to Governor Yusuf and directed that another one be issued to Gawuna.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Abba, who contested on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), in the March 18 governorship election in 2023.
However, Gawuna, his APC rival went ahead to congratulate Abba, but still went to court to challenge the election of his closest rival.
The tribunal also dismissed the APC petition challenging the legitimacy of the candidature of Governor Yusuf.
It said candidacy is an internal matter of the party, so it does not affect the plaintiffs, let alone interfere in it.
The APC and its candidate had petitioned the tribunal alleging that Abba is not a full member of the New Nigerian People Party (NNPP), and that he was registered when t5he NNPP nominated him, and therefore was not fit to contest.
21st CENTURY CHRONICLE reports that the tribunal judges of the Kano governorship election tribunal are not physically in court owing to the tension that enveloped the city earlier in the day.
This led to the beefing up of security by security agents in and around the premises of the tribunal/
There were thorough searches of people who were going and coming out of the tribunal area as the state Police Commissioner Husaini Muhammed Gumel said only journalists, lawyers, party members and many others would be allowed into the court.
Also, the Secretariat said there would be no live broadcast of the judgment and that the few journalists admitted into the court would not make use of smartphones or cameras.
Top security officials failed to reveal the whereabouts of the judges and that it was possible that the proceeding would be virtual.
When the proceedings began before 10 am, Justice Akintan-Osadebay, Chairman of the three-member panel, spoke via Zoom.
It would be recalled that about two weeks ago, there have been allegations and counter allegations against the panel of being bribed which had heightened tension towards the build up to the delivery of the judgement today.
A former Commissioner of Land and Physical Planning, Adamu Kibiya, had asked the judges to choose between their lives and their work while delivering judgement.
“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…,” he had said during a protest organised by members of the ruling New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the state.
His comment had triggered backlash, forcing Governor Yusuf to sack him.