Kano State: Residents Protest over GEPT Judgement

Kano State: Irked by the gubernatorial election petition’s judgment which removed the incumbent governor Mr. Abba Yusuf of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and installed the candidate of the APC, Nasiru Gawuna as the winner, some residents of Kano State on Friday took to the streets to protest against the judgment of the election petition tribunal.

The protesters where enraged after 160,000 votes were deducted from the NNPP, with the excuse that, the votes were not stamped nor signed.

The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, delivered the judgment via virtual platform as they went on to withdraw the Certificate of Return the Independent National Electoral Commission presented to Yusuf.

Stating reasons why the Kano governor was sacked, the panel said the margin of votes scored by NNPP was invalid and not in compliance with the 2022 electoral act.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared that the NNPP polled 1,019,602 votes to defeat the APC whose candidate scored 890,705 votes. The NNPP candidate thus won with a margin of 128,897 votes. The state government immediately declared a 24-hour curfew in the state to avoid a breakdown of law and order following the controversial judgment.

However, on Friday, residents of the state and members of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) trooped out en masse to vent their anger against the judgment, accusing the tribunal of injustice, in Kano State.

Armed with placards showing various inscriptions such as “Gandollar, leave the judiciary alone”, “The people of Kano demand justice”, “It’s Abba that we want” and among others, the protesters called for a review of the judgment. They added that they would not accept any form of injustice from anybody in Kano State.

“We voted for Abba, not any other person, therefore nobody should ever think of going against our will,” they said.

Furthermore, concerned citizens including lawyers, political analysts, religious leaders, and different professional bodies were taking aback and are asking questions regarding the judgment. They argued that the judgment does not in any way conform with the principles of the 2022 electoral act.

They opined that the electoral act provides that if the invalid votes are more than the margin of votes between the winner and the first runner, that there should be a re-run between the winner and the first runner up of the election.

They called on the judiciary to be mindful of the kind of judgment they dish out stating that such could lead to anarchy in the country.

SOURCE: Politics Today


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