Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Supreme Court in Abuja on Monday upheld the election of Abdullahi Ganduje as Governor of Kano State.
The apex court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta held that the appeal lacked merit because the appellants failed to prove their case.
According to the judgment, the appeallants could not prove that judgment of the Court of Appeal which upheld the election of Ganduje was perverse as was delivered in error.
The apex court consequently agreed with the concurrent judgment of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal which held that Ganduje was rightly declared winner of the March 9 governorship election in Kano State.
The apex court similarly dismissed the cross appeal filed by the appellants for lacking merit.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Abbah Yusuf in his appeal had asked the apex court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal and Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal both of which affirmed Ganduje as lawfully elected Governor of Kano State.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, counsel to the appeallants, urged the court to nullify the election of Ganduje on the grounds that his victory was based on a purported illegal bye election conducted in 207 polling units.
Awomolo had argued that the State Returning Officer who had conducted the bye election in the affected polling units lacked the legal powers to do so.
He added that the State Returning Officer after declaring the entire results of election in the 44 local government areas of Kano State was wrong to have gone ahead to cancel election in 207 polling units and conducting a bye election thereafter.
Awomolo therefore urged the court to nullify the purported bye election conducted on March 23 in the 207 polling units and declare his client winner based on the results declared by the State Returning Officer on March 11, 2019.
However, the respondents in their various submissions urged the court to dismiss the appeal on grounds that the State Returning Officer did not cancel election of 207 polling units as claimed by the appeallants.
Counsel to INEC, Ahmed Raji SAN in his submissions told the apex court that the appellants both at the tribunal and Court of Appeal failed to prove that votes were cancelled in 207 wards.
According to Raji, record only showed the inability of the State Returning Officer to collate results of the affected polling units which was occasioned by the action of the appeallants own witness, who in his evidence admitted carting away with ballot boxes of Galma wards belonging to the 207 polling units.
Both lawyers to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Ganduje aligned themselves with Raji’s submissions and urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking merit.