Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on Kano and Bauchi Governorship Appeals

Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on Kano and Bauchi Governorship Appeals

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The Supreme Court, on Thursday, deferred judgment on the appeals related to the governorship elections in Kano and Bauchi states. The five-member panel, led by John Okoro, adjourned the proceedings after hearing arguments from the parties involved.

In the Kano State appeal, Governor Abba Yusuf, a candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples’ Party (NNPP), challenged the lower court rulings that declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 18 election. Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), representing Governor Yusuf, urged the apex court to reverse his client’s removal, emphasizing that the nullification of the election was unprecedented, citing reasons related to unsigned or unstamped ballot papers.

Contrarily, Akin Olujimi (SAN), representing the APC, supported the lower courts’ decisions to remove Yusuf and uphold Gawuna’s victory. Olujimi argued that the Electoral Act mandated INEC’s presiding officers to sign at the back of ballot papers, and he pointed out that Yusuf’s name was not on the NNPP membership register.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was represented by A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), who supported Olanipekun’s arguments, urging the court to affirm Yusuf as the valid winner. Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel for NNPP, asserted that his client should not bear the consequences of INEC’s failure to sign the disputed ballot papers.

After hearing the arguments, the Supreme Court reserved judgment on the Kano appeal for a later date.

In the Bauchi appeal, Sodique Abubakar of the APC contested the appeal court and tribunal rulings that upheld the election of Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed. Jelili Owonikoko (SAN), Abubakar’s lawyer, urged the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court’s decision declaring Governor Mohammed as the winner.

Chris Uche (SAN), counsel for Governor Mohammed, dismissed the appeal as unnecessary, urging the court to dismiss it and uphold his client’s victory. Uche emphasized the appellants’ lack of witnesses and materials to support their case.

The Supreme Court, in this case as well, reserved judgment to be communicated to the parties at a later date.

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