Kano Election Petition Tribunal: NNPP Governor Loses To APC

By Suleiman Umaru

The battle line between Abdullahi Gandunje , a former governor of  Kano state , and now Chairman of the  ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, ad Senator  Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso,  who incidentally  was a former governor of the  north western state over  and Presidential Candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party, NNPP, in the February 25, 2023, election. Over the governorship position of the state appears to have ended at the Tribunal in favour of the APC.

In declaring Abba Kabir Yusuf, the NNPP, Candidate in the March 18, 2023, governorship of the state, the Kano state Returning officer one Prof. Ahmed Ibrahim  had declared that the, New Nigerian People’s Party, NNPP Candidate scored 1,019,602 votes against Nasiru  Gawuna,  of the APC,  who was said to have scored 809,705 votes.

Yusuf: NNPP Govenor of Kano State Loses To APC At Tribunal

But in sacking Yusuf, the NNPP , governor of the state,  who had won the March 18, 2023, election Kano state,   the three-man panel of the Kano state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay,  according to an eyewitness account after hearing the petitions of the two political rivals , jostling for the governorship position  of the state , had  voided 165,000 NNPP votes, thus making the APC governorship flag in the state  the winner of the election, amidst tight security.

The Tribunal was said to have ordered Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Yusuf, the NNPPC, Candidate and issue another Certificate of Return to,Gawuna, the APC, Candidate, who is the winner of the governorship election  in the state .

An elated Ganduje had said that he was not surprised with the Tribunal Judgment as he already knew what  happened during the March 18, 2023, governorship election in the state. ‘’I am very happy with the Tribunal Judgment, thanking the Judiciary for allowing justice to prevail ‘’, he had told the BBC, in a interview.     

 Gandunje, the immediate past governor of the state, had groomed Gawuna, the APC, Candidate to be his successor   after the March 18, 2023, governorship in the state but Senator Kwankwanso, his major political rival in the state may have used his weight to ensure that Gawuna, the APC, Candidate   lost out, forcing him to head to the Tribual to reclaim his alleged stolen mandate.

Nasiru Gawua, APC, Beat Yusuf, NNPP, Elected Goveror Of Kano State At Tribunal

Given what obtains in the murky waters of Nigerian politics as the loser is not ready to accept defeat until he or she had exhausted all the legal avenues open to reclaim the mandate.  Gawuna , the APC,  governorship in the March 18, 2023,  governorship election may have won in the judicial Tribunal, but the NNPP, Flag bearer would not take it,  as he vowed  ‘’to appeal  the judgement  of  the Tribunal  which had nullified his election  and declared Gawua, his APC, opponent as the winner.  

  He may have taken advantage of the opportunity of being governor of Kano state to have vowed ‘’to review  some of the former governor’s policies  and to probe  the N241  billion debt  inherited from the administration. He was said to have even promised ‘’to restore the glory of the state by reclaiming all encroached public land that was used to erect ‘’illegal’’ structures, particular, schools, mosques, playgrounds, graveyards, markets and Hospitals.

An embattled Yusuf, who was said to have moved swiftly in the last four months in undoing some of the excesses  of  the Gandunje, the former governor, of the state  had kick-started  the undoing processes s was said to  have dazed his ardent supporters, the Kwankwasyya Movement .

Take for instance, on June 3, 2023,  the governor who was said to have started fulfilling  his electioneering Campaign promises at  the Race Course  playground  , popular,  Filin Sukuwa, where  a three-storey building , with o fewer  than  90 shops  was said to have  pulled down  as part of the effort  to reclaim the encroached land He was said to have continued with the demolition   at the Hajj Camp  and Daula Hotel, which was said to be leased   under the  Public-Private  partnership  for a shopping  Mall and plaza. in the ancient city.  Other areas affected by the governor’s demolition craze included the famous  Kantin Kwari and Kofar Wambai markets as well as other business areas  in the city  and the Eid praying ground where a number of shops  erected  around the place  were also destroyed at the  instance of the governor. 

 With the turn out of events in the state, the governor in a live broadcast to the people of the state on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, had called for calm, stating that his legal team has been directed ‘’ to appeal  the Kano state Election Petition Tribunal  ruling  at the Court of Appeal  to reclaim his mandate’’.  

Many believe that legal battle between the two political heavyweights in Kano state   may end up at the Supreme Court, where Justice Olukayode Ariwola, GCON, who is the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, was said to have concluded plans to constitute the Court Tribunal panel that will hear the appeal arising   from the judgement of the Presidential and other Election Petition Tribunals. 

Political Observers fears that the NPP, governor of Kano state who is running round the ring to win the support of the party Leadership in the ongoing the legal battle with the APC, I the state where the Tribunal had declared the APC Candidate, Gawuna, as the winner of the March 18, 2023, election in the state because of the crisis in the party. This is evident going by the expulsion of Senator Kwankwaso from the party by action of the National Working Committee, NWC, over alleged ‘’anti-party activities and mismanagement of party campaign funds’’.

The crisis in the party, may have deepened as some members   the NWC, who were said may have fallen out with Kwankwaso, regarded as the king maker in political circles I Kao state, were said to have threatened’’to report him to appropriate security agencies to answer questions on financial impropriety relating to mismanagement of public funds’’.

The crisis situation in the NNPP, NWC, may have been made worse as another faction loyal to Senator Kwankwaso, who has been moving back and front, from PDP to APC to PDP to the NNPP, to achieve his Presidential ambition    had suspended Boniface Aniebonam , a former Chairman of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders  and founder of the party  on August 24, 2023.The  Kwankwanso loyalties were said to have also suspended  Agbo Major,  the National Publicity Secretary of the Party .

The crisis that had erupted in the party after the Presidential and governorship elections, particular, in Kano state, may have informed why Rufa’ii Alkali, Kwankwanso’s political ally and National Chairman, has dumped the party, meaning that the centre could no longer hold.

 The former NPP Chairman, who could not hide his feelings had told those that cares to listen   that he decided to quit the NNPP ‘’after consulting widely his political associates across the country’’. There is no gain saying the fact that Alkali, the immediate past Chairman of the NNPP, has thorn the party to shreds that may be difficult to be put together again, meaning the total collapse of the party ad diminishing of Kwankwanso’s political hold of Kano state.

Meanwhile the situation in the ancient tow of Town of Kano and its environs remain tense following the Judgment of the governorship Election Petition Tribunal sacking the Yusuf, the NNPP, elected governor of the state.   The situation is so worrisome that Muhammad Usaini Gumel, the state Commissioner of Police may have read the handwriting on the wall that there could be total breakdown of Law and Order in the state, that he has dispatched a combined team of security operatives across the ancient city to enforce the curfew that been imposed on the state.

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