The Supreme Court has upheld Abba Kabir Yusuf as the governor of Kano State.


The Supreme Court has confirmed Abba Yusuf, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate, as the duly elected governor of Kano State. This decision set aside the judgments of both the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, which had earlier declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner.

In the unanimous judgment delivered on Friday, January 12, the Supreme Court overturned the rulings of the lower courts in Abuja. Justice Inyang Okoro, in the lead judgment, stated that the deduction of valid votes credited to Governor Yusuf by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was incorrect. The court deemed the 165,663 votes deducted from Yusuf and the NNPP, based on the claim that the ballot papers were unsigned, unstamped, or undated, as valid.

Contrary to the lower courts’ stance, the Supreme Court clarified that 146,292 of the ballot papers were confirmed to have been signed and stamped, even though they lacked a date. According to the court, under section 63(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, ballot papers with the official mark and duly issued by INEC were not entirely invalid.

Additionally, the court found no evidence to support the claim that Governor Yusuf influenced the non-signing of the ballot papers. It criticized the lower courts for annulling Yusuf’s election on the basis that he was not a member of the NNPP, emphasizing that the sponsorship of a candidate in an election falls within the internal affairs of a political party. The Supreme Court held that Yusuf secured the governorship election with a majority of lawful votes and was duly nominated by his political party.

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