Supreme Court: Gov. Yusuf’s reinstatement signals hope for Nigeria – CSO, NNPP chieftain

Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf
Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf

The Joint Action for Good Governance (JAGG) and a Chieftain of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) have applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling reinstating Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano.

The Supreme Court reinstated Yusuf’s election on Friday, after loosing at the lower courts.

In separate interviews on Friday with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the advocacy group and the NNPP stalwart said the reinstatement of the lone NNPP governor in the federation had further added to the credibility of the nation’s apex court.

The National Vice President of JAGG, Mr Abdulwaheed Odunuga told NAN that the ruling of the Supreme Court was a relief to many stakeholders in the nation.

“I am thrilled and relieved by the recent decision of the Supreme Court to reverse the sack of Yusuf by lower courts, and affirm his election as Kano governor.

“This judgment has not only reinstated the victory of Yusuf but has also vindicated the integrity of the electoral process.

“It is noteworthy that the court emphasised that the lower courts were wrong in deducting votes based on technicalities related to the signing and stamping of ballot papers.

“This ruling reinforces the principle that substantial compliance with electoral laws should be prioritised over minor procedural irregularities,” Odunuga said.

According to him, as someone who has been actively involved in the NNPP and contested for the Federal House of Representatives in Kosofe, the verdict brings a sense of encouragement and optimism for the democratic process.

He added: “It reaffirms our belief in the rule of law and the capacity of the judiciary to correct perceived errors in electoral disputes.

“I commend the Supreme Court for its thorough and unbiased approach in delivering justice. It is my hope that this judgment will contribute to strengthening our electoral system and inspire confidence in the minds of the electorate.

” As we celebrate this victory, let us continue to uphold the principles of democracy and work toward a more transparent and accountable political environment.”

In his reaction, Mr Adekunle Aderibigbe, NNPP chieftain in Lagos state said the decision of the Supreme Court had again, boosted the morale and confidence of the people of Nigeria in the justice system.

Aderibigbe said: It is heartening to see the Supreme Court uphold the democratic process by carefully reviewing and rectifying what appeared to be an erroneous decision by the Court of Appeal.

“The judicial system plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of elections, and the apex court’s determination to restore the deducted votes and reaffirm Yusuf’s victory reflects a commitment to fairness and justice.

“This meticulous scrutiny ensures that electoral outcomes are determined based on accurate legal principles and not arbitrary decisions.”

According to him, the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Court of Appeal’s ruling regarding Yusuf’s party membership was a significant point.

He said the apex court rightly asserted that matters related to nomination and sponsorship are pre-election issues and fall outside its jurisdiction.

“This reaffirmation underscores the importance of adhering to legal procedures and recognising the delineation between pre-election and post-election matters,” he said.

NAN reports that the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Yusuf as duly elected governor of Kano state.

The apex court set aside the verdicts of the Court of Appeal and Kano state Election Petitions Tribunal, which nullified the victory of Yusuf in the March 18, 2023 governorship poll.

A five-member panel of the apex court in a judgment delivered by Justice John Okor, held that the tribunal and the court of appeal erred by sacking Yusuf as governor of the state.

Yusuf and NNPP had filed an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had affirmed his sacking as earlier pronounced by the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The tribunal had sacked Yusuf and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw his certificate of return and instead, issue same to Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, the candidate of the APC in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

However, not satisfied with the Tribunal judgment, Yusuf had approached the Appeal Court.

But the appellate court had while affirming his sack, further held that the governor was not a member of the party as of the time of the election and could not have been said to have been properly sponsored for the election.(NAN)


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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