The Abuja Court of Appeal has invalidated Governor Abba Yusuf’s election in the March 18 gubernatorial election in Kano State. A three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Moore A. Adumein, has upheld the appeal filed by Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC),Daily Trust reports.
The panel ruled that Yusuf, a candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), was disqualified from the election as he was not a registered member of the party. According to the panel, every political party is obligated to maintain a membership register, as stipulated in Section 77 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The court emphasized that the appellant failed to provide evidence of his NNPP membership, such as the party’s membership register or a sworn statement affirming his party affiliation. It pointed out that the 1999 Constitution mandates political parties to possess and submit membership registers to INEC and the Tribunal as required.
Justice Adumein stated, “As rightly found, Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was purportedly sponsored by his party and he was not qualified to contest the March Governorship Election.”
Previously, the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had declared Gawuna as the winner of the March 18 election, overturning INEC’s announcement of Yusuf’s victory. The tribunal, on September 20, supported the APC’s claim of electoral malpractices, citing over 160,000 unsigned or unstamped ballot papers by INEC.
Consequently, the tribunal reduced Yusuf’s votes by 165,663 to 853,939, while Gawuna’s 890,705 votes remained unaffected.