The Supreme Court has reversed the decisions of the lower courts that nullified the election of Abba Yusuf as the governor of Kano State.
The governor, who contested under the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), had his victory challenged by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, who alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election.
The election tribunal and the appeal court had agreed with the APC and invalidated 165,663 votes cast for Yusuf on the grounds that they were from unstamped and unsigned ballot papers. They also held that Yusuf was not a bona fide member of the NNPP and was not validly nominated by the party.
The Supreme Court, on Friday, however, disagreed with the lower courts and ruled in favour of Yusuf.
The apex court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice John Okoro, held that the ballot papers in question had the logo of INEC and the coat of arms, which were sufficient to identify them as authentic.
The court also held that the issue of party membership and nomination was a pre-election matter that could not be raised at the tribunal.
Justice Okoro further noted that the tribunal did not find any evidence that Yusuf was not qualified to contest the election, but only relied on the NNPP membership register submitted to INEC, which did not contain his name.
The court said this was not enough to disqualify him, as the party had the right to determine its own members.
The Supreme Court, therefore, set aside the judgments of the tribunal and the appeal court as being erroneous and upheld the election of Abba Yusuf as the duly elected governor of Kano State.