Kano Tribunal Reserves Judgment in Petition Challenging Governor Yusuf's Election

By Mohammed Bello Doka. 

The Kano State Election Petition Tribunal has indicated that it will soon deliver its judgment regarding the petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the victory of Governor Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP).

The petition arises from the declaration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stating that Kabir-Yusuf of the NNPP was the winner of the election held on March 18, 2023.

The respondents in the case include INEC, Kabir-Yusuf, and the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP).

During the hearing, the three-member panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, informed all parties involved that the tribunal would determine the date for the judgment once they had all presented their final written addresses.

In his statement, Justice Akintan-Osadebay expressed his gratitude for being appointed as the Chairman of the Tribunal and assured everyone of a fair and impartial ruling. "We will adhere to what the law dictates and make our decision based on our understanding," he stated.

Counsel to the APC, Offiong Offiong SAN, defended their position in their final written addresses, which were submitted on July 31, August 6, August 7, and August 8. He urged the court to uphold their petition and grant the requested reliefs, citing inconsistencies in the membership registers presented by Kabir-Yusuf before and after the election.

Similarly, Counsel to INEC, Emmanuel Osayomi, emphasized in his written address submitted on August 1 and filed on August 2 that the petitioner failed to provide sufficient evidence to support their case. He requested that the court dismiss the petition accordingly.

Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, representing Kabir-Yusuf, presented his final written address on July 31 and filed it on August  He called on the tribunal to dismiss the petition and disregarded certain pieces of evidence, arguing that they lacked validity.

John Olusola-Baiyeshea SAN, representing NNPP, urged the tribunal to completely dismiss the petition, labeling it as "unapproved."

The hearing witnessed the Petitioner presenting 32 witnesses before the tribunal, while INEC chose not to present any witnesses on July 20. Kabir-Yusuf called the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa-Bichi, as their sole witness on July 22. NNPP concluded its case without calling any witnesses on July.

The Kano Tribunal's ruling on this matter will soon provide clarity on the disputed election results.

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