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Supreme Court fixes date for Kano governorship election judgment

Gov Abdullahi Ganduje

The Supreme Court has fixed January 20 for judgement in the appeal challenging the election of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State.

A seven-member panel, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, adjourned the appeal in line with the provision of the law after listening to arguments of the lawyers in the matter.

At the resumed hearing of the appeal on Tuesday, Abba Kabiru-Yusuf asked the apex court to declare him the duly elected governor of Kano State.

Abba-Yusuf, who was the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) candidate in the March 9, 2019 election, said having scored the highest votes, he is the candidate that satisfied the provision of Section 179 of the Electoral Act.

Arguing his appeal, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), asked the apex court to make an order setting aside the judgments of the lower courts- the tribunal and Court of Appeal – which affirmed the election of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Awomolo contended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Office in Kano had announced the result of the March 9, 2019 election in the 44 local government areas (LGAs) in Kano State and issued Form EC8D, which is summary of the results of the 44 LGs, only to cancel the results already declared at the 207 polling units.

He argued that the Supreme Court in other decisions had held that returning officer cancelling the results of LGAs was ultra virus his powers and therefore, null and void.

“The declaration of the inconclusiveness based on the cancelled 207 polling units was also ultra vires the powers of the returning officer,” he said.

But Ahmed Raji (SAN), Alex Izinyon (SAN) and Offiong Offiong (SAN) representing INEC, APC and Governor Ganduje respectively asked the apex court to dismiss the appeal by Kabiru-Yusuf and PDP.

Raji argued that there was no evidence that the Returning Officer cancelled votes, but what is on record is that the inability of the Returning Officer to collate the results on that day.

“I therefore, urge my Lord to dismiss this appeal and affirm the concurrent findings of the lower courts,” he said.

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