Saturday, February 24, 2024

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment In Kano Guber Dispute

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgment in the appeal Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf file to challenge his removal by the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

A three-man panel of judges led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay had sacked Yusuf on September 20, 2023, by declaring 165,663 of his votes invalid because they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939 while Ganuwa’s 890,705 votes remained.

Yusuf had rejected the tribunal verdict, which he described as “unfair” and “a miscarriage of justice”, and headed to the appeal court.

At the court on Monday, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead for Yusuf, asked that the judgement of the tribunal be set aside.

Kicking against the ruling on ballot papers, the senior lawyer said this is the first time in the history that a tribunal will annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers.

He said the tribunal erred, arguing further that, that was the first time that a political party would file a matter without joining its candidate as a party in the petition and the candidate would declared winner of the polls.

But Akin Olujimi SAN, counsel for APC,  countered him saying the Appeal Courts stated emphatically that the non-signing of ballots amounted to electoral malpractice.

He argued that INEC regulations have set out what presiding officers are to do at the point of voting, adding that the back of ballot papers must be signed and dated.

The appeal court panel subsequently reserved judgment, saying a date would be communicated to the parties.

“Judgement in this appeal is hereby reserved to a date to be communicated to the parties,” the panel held.

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