The Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has fixed Wednesday, September 20, 2023, to pass judgment on the petition challenging the incumbent Governor’s election victory.
We understand that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, had filed a petition before the Tribunal, challenging the declaration of Kabir Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) as the winner of the March 18 gubernatorial election.
Consequently, the Tribunal on Monday announced the date for the judgment in a hearing notice sent to parties involved in the matter.
We understand that the secretary of the NNPP legal team, Barrister Bashir T Wurzici, also confirmed the date to Daily Trust saying that the team was served with the notice Monday evening.
“We are happy that the day is finally at hand and we are very happy because we know the petition will be dismissed with cost.
“We are hoping the tribunal will follow suit with the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal because the matters are similar,” he said.
On his part, the deputy chairman of the APC in Kano, Shehu Maigari, said they expect the judgment “to be in our favour based on the documented evidence we submitted to the tribunal, we are optimistic that we will come out victorious.
“We are not afraid of anything because we are confident in the evidential documents we have submitted. So we are optimistic based on what we have submitted.”
The expectation of the judgment has generated tension in the state with both parties organising prayers to seek God’s assistance.
The judgment expectation has also led to the sacking of a commissioner who issued death threats to the tribunal judges.
We understand that during the adoption of final written addresses, the respondents to the petition: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Yusuf and NNPP all urged the tribunal in their separate final addresses to dismiss the petition while the APC urged the tribunal to uphold the petition and return Nasir Gawuna as the winner of the election.
Counsel to the APC, Offiong Offiong (SAN) submitted that the evidence the petitioner had tendered before the tribunal had established that Governor Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP before the election and as such could not have been duly elected.
He also submitted that the respondents were not able to deny that there were deficiencies in some of the over 130,000 ballot papers used to declare Yusuf as the winner and that if those were minus from the total tally, his client would instead emerge the winner of the March 28 election.
On his part, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel to Governor Yusuf submitted that all the 29 witnesses called by the petitioner were impostors and the tribunal should not act on any of the evidence given by them.