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Confusion as appeal court’s certified judgment affirms Kano gov’s election

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There was confusion in Kano State on Tuesday with the emergence of a Certified True Copy of the Court of Appeal judgment on the state gvernorship election.

While the widely reported verdict of the court last Friday indicated that the appelate court upheld the decision of the petition tribunal sacking Governor Abba Yusuf, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Isa-Dederi, argued that CTC of the judgment showed that Yusuf’s Victory at the poll was affirmed by the appeal court.

Isa-Dederi disclosed this while addressing a presa conference on Tuesday night.

He said  as indicated in the written judgment, the Court of Appeal set aside the judgment of the Kano Election Petition Tribunal for lacking in merit.

“The evidence contained on page 67 of the the copy of the Appeal Court judgment released on Tuesday and signed by Registrar, Jameel Ibrahim Umar, appellate court upheld the victory of Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party  as duly elected Governor of Kano,” he said.

The PUNCH reports that the three member panel of the appeal court, on Friday, November 17, 2023, had dismissed the appeal filed by the governor  on the basis of his membership status.

The appellate court subsequently affirmed Nasiru  Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of March 25, 2023 governorship poll in the state.

Dederi noted that page 67 of the certified true copy of the judgment clearly indicated that the tribunal’s ruling that sacked the governor was set aside.

The commissioner insisted that contrary to what the justices read to the public in the courtroom on November 17, the written evidence has vindicated Yusuf as legitimate governor of the state.

Our correspondent obtained a copy of the CTC and noticed what appears to be a mix up in the conclusions.

According to the CTC, in his lead judgment,  Justice Moore Adumein,  wrote, “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favour of the first respondent and against the appellant.”

Having been earlier sacked by the state governorship election petition tribunal, the governor who approached the Court of Appeal seeking to upturn the tribunal’s judgment is the appellant before the appellate court.

The  All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the NNPP are the first, second  and third respondents respectively.

According to the CTC, Justice Adumein continued, “In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favour of the appellant and against the first respondent.

“Therefore, I find no merit in this appeal which is liable to be and is hereby dismissed.

The judgment of the tribunal in Petition No.: EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023 between: AL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS. delivered on the 20th day of September, 2023 is hereby set aside.

“The sum of N1,000,000.00 (one million naira only) is hereby awarded as costs in favour of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.”

In resolving all issues in favour of the appellant (Yusuf), it means the Court of Appeal granted the governor’s appeal to quash his sacking by the tribunal.

But in concluding that he found no merit in the appeal while dismissing it also means that he upheld the decision of the tribunal sacking the governor.

The mix up in the judgment became more pronounced with the judge’s final declaration that the judgment of the tribunal delivered on September 25 sacking the governor is set aside while awarding N1m in favour of the governor and against the first respondent (APC).

The two other justices of the appeal court , Justice Bitrus Sanga and Justice Lateef Ganiyu, agreed with the lead judgment.

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