Edo State New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, front runner in the state’s 2024 governorship election, Peter Okoeguale, has decried the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sacking current Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, as governor and announcing the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) Nadir Gawuna, as the winner of the March 18 election.
Okoeguale described the decision of the tribunal as unfortunate and a travesty of justice. He said he was solidly behind the Kano helmsman and in support of his move to appeal the judgment, stressing that he believed that Yusuf would be vindicated at the end of the day.
“I believe the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sacking current Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, as governor and announcing the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) Nadir Gawuna, as the winner of the 18 March election, is not only condemnable, but a travesty of justice.
“I just want to state categorically that the party is solidly behind Abba Yusuf and I personally, am behind him as well. He is like a big brother to me, a friend and a man of impeccable character. I am certain that no matter the evidence presented by the other party in this matter, he will surely conquer in the end.
“His decision to appeal the decision is totally welcome and we’re solidly behind him in this matter. We are talking about a man who has done his homework and paid the price to come this far. It is no lean feat for him to have emerged as Kano governor. We will not stand by and allow this laudable achievement to be rubbished by any tribunal whatsoever and on flimsy grounds.”
“We believe in the justice system and I am assuring him of my total support in the belief that he will surely come out victorious in the end because he is the people’s choice and their duly elected governor,” Okoeguale said.
Meanwhile, the Kano governor has rejected the tribunal judgment, and says he is heading to the Appeal Court.
Yusuf said the judgment was marred by human imperfections and misapplications.
At a press conference late Wednesday, Mr Yusuf said that based on the feedback from his legal team, the judgment was marred by human imperfections and misapplication of the law, thus, he will seek justice at the Court of Appeal.
It had been earlier reported how the tribunal sacked Mr Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) after deducting 165,663 votes from the total votes he scored during the election.
The three-member panel of judges led by Oluyemi Asadebay ruled that the ballots containing the votes were not certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Despite the tribunal’s ruling, Mr Yusuf will remain in office until the Appeal Court and possibly the Supreme Court gives a final ruling on the matter.
“All praises and gratitude are due to Allah Subhanahu wata’ala, The Sovereign Lord of Power. May the peace and countless blessings of Allah be upon our Noble Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), His Families, and all His Companions.
“My good people of Kano State! You would recall that on March 18, 2023, you came out in mass and voted for me as your Governor with a total vote of 1,019,602 and a margin of 128,897 votes between my humble self and second place.
“Subsequently, I was duly sworn in as your elected Governor on May 29, 2023. You may also recall that the party that lost the election took us to court. However, after almost six months of proceedings at the governorship election petition tribunal, today Wednesday, September 20, 2023, the judges of the tribunal have in their wisdom delivered their ruling.
“As human beings their judgment may not be perfect, there are errors and misapplications of the law as pointed out by our legal team. That is why our constitution provides for other stages to go on with- such as the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
“On this note, we have already instructed our legal team to appeal this judgment as soon as possible to ensure that justice is done. Let me therefore call on all the good people of Kano State to be calm and remain law abiding.
“People should not take the law into their own hands. Security agents have already been directed to ensure the full protection of the f lives and properties of innocent citizens across the State.
“This government will continue to work for the development of our State in line with the promises we made, seeking your votes. We want to assure you that this will neither dampen our spirit nor slow us down as this is a temporary setback for our State which we will overcome by the grace of Almighty Allah (SWT).
“While thanking the good people of Kano State for their continuous support and prayer, let me further use this opportunity to call on them to continue to go about their businesses peacefully with the assurances that we would get justice at the appellate courts and get the mandate of the people restored and respected Insha Allah (God’s willing), the governor said.