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Controversy Trails  Appeal Court Judgment On Kano Governorship Election

As Court hastily issues statement citing clerical error after Yusuf files notice of appeal

OSAS EMMANUEL

Controversy trailing the judgment of the Court of Appeal on Kano Governorship election deepened on Wednesday, as the Court hastily cited clerical error after Governor Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, had filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court.

Governor Yusuf, who was sacked from office noted in a notice of appeal marked Appeal No. SC/CV / / 2023, on Appeal No / CA/ KN / EP/ Gov/ KAN/34/23 on Petition No, EPT/ KN/GOBV/021/2023 filed at Kano Division of Court on Wednesday  that the judgement of the said Court of Appeal delivered on November 17, 2023 was in his favour.

He said in the document contained in the notice of appeal  that part of the decision of the lower court complained of the entire judgement save and except the final conclusion and orders at page 67 of the duly certified true copy .

In the said judgement including orders as to cost favourable to the Appellant it was stated thus : “The judgement of the tribunal in Petition No EPT/KN/GOBV / 012/2023  between All Progressive Congress (APC),V. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), & 2 others delivered on 20 September, 2023, is hereby sets aside.” 

“The sum of N1,000,000  one million only is hereby awarded as cost in favour of the Appellant and against the 1st respondent.”

Yusuf, who anchored his complaint on 10 grounds of Appeal, said that the learned justices in the court of appeal erred in law and occasioned a grave miscarried of justice to the prejudice of the Appellant when having concurrently hold as did the trial tribunal at page 2 of their judgement that the Appellant contested the governorship election on the platform of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and was declared winner by INEC with a total of 1, 019, 602 votes while APC which sponsored Nasiru Gawuna was said to have a total of 890,705 votes among other issues raised in the appeal.

But the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Mr Umar Mohammed Bangari, in the evening on Wednesday, issued a statement on the  controversies surrounding the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal on Kano gubernatorial election dispute.

Bangari, in reaction to the controversies, said that what happened in the judgment body was a clerical error that did not in any way invalidate or change the findings and conclusion of the Court.

The Chief Registrar assured that the clerical error would be rectified once parties in the matter file formal application to that effect.

He drew the attention of newsmen to Order 23 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal HandBook which empowers the court to correct any clerical error once detected by the court or any of the parties in the matter.

He, however, insisted that contrary to insinuations, the judgment of the court remains valid.

“What happened in the part of the judgment is just a mere clerical error that ought not to draw any issue. The Court is empowered to correct such clerical error and would be done as appropriate.”

There had been misgivings and series of interpretations into the judgment, which upheld the judgment of Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that invalidated the election of Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), as winner of the March 18 gubernatorial poll.

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