The founder of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has described Friday’s Appeal Court judgment sacking the Kano State governor, Abba Yusuf, as a “rude shock.”
Reacting to the court ruling invalidating Yusuf’s election victory, Aniebonam insisted that only the NNPP can determine its members, not the judiciary.
He said, “I do know that it is only the NNPP and its members that can determine who is a member of the party,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
“I also know that a party and its members can bring into the party, and grant such a person a waiver to go into election and represent the party in an election.
“I also know and believe that it is only someone who contested nomination under NNPP that can challenge the membership of the party in an election.
“To the contrary, no other person has the right to raise objection.”
The NNPP founder argued that the party could sponsor any candidate by granting them a waiver to contest elections on its platform.
Aniebonam maintained that no external entity has the right to challenge a candidate’s NNPP membership except rival aspirants who contested the nomination.
While hoping justice would prevail at the Supreme Court, the NNPP leader encouraged party members and Kano residents to keep faith amidst the legal challenge.
“Our hope is alive ahead the Supreme Court judgment in due time.
“I hereby encourage all members of our great party and indeed the indigenes of Kano in particular to keep faith with the final decision of God under this avoidable circumstances,” he said.
On Friday, the Appeal Court upheld an earlier ruling that nullified Yusuf’s victory on the grounds that he was not an NNPP member when the election occurred.
It consequently declared the APC’s Nasiru Gawuna as the duly elected governor.
Yusuf, who assumed office in May after a run-off poll victory, now faces an uncertain future following his latest court setback. The NNPP is expected to appeal the judgment at the Supreme Court.