The governor of Kano State, Abba Yusuf has responded to the Supreme Court verdict affirming him as governor, expressing extreme happiness.
In a briefing at the premises of the apex court in Abuja on Friday, the governor said that the Supreme Court affirmed there was no illegality in the Kano State governorship election.
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) clarified that the contentious 165,616 ballot papers were issued by them.
“I am extremely happy with the judgement of the Supreme Court that took place today, January 12, 2024. I feel extremely happy, as you can see, so many people are happy and cheering,” the governor stated.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling, reinstated Yusuf’s votes that had been annulled by the Court of Appeal and the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal due to unsigned ballot papers.
Justice John Okoro, who led the panel, while delivering the judgement on Friday, said the Court of Appeal
was wrong in affirming the decision of the tribunal, which held that Yusuf did not win the majority of lawful votes cast in the governorship election of March 18, 2023.
In determining the case, the apex court raised two issues: whether the lower court was right in deducting 165,616 from the votes the Independent National Electoral Commission announced for the governor and whether the lower court could determine the issue of party membership.
In the judgement, Justice Okoro held that the tribunal was wrong in deducting 165,616 votes accrued to Yusuf in the election on grounds that the ballot papers were not signed and stamped by officials of INEC.
According to him, Section 71 of the Eectoral Act relied upon by the tribunal to deduct the disputed votes does not apply in the instant case.
When asked about his position on the lower court’s deduction of his votes, Governor Yusuf said the apex court’s position is that there is no illegality regarding the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
“The Supreme Court has confirmed that there is no illegality as far as the election is concerned. They were saying illegal ballot papers. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that the ballot papers belong to them, they were issued by them.
“The Supreme Court justices have just confirmed also that there is no illegality, so people are aware.”
The governor said he feels justified with the apex court’s decision on his electoral victory last year, saying the controversy trailing the election has been set aside.
He commended the people of Kano State for supporting his administration within the past seven months as well as Nigerians across the world who stood by him.
“I feel justified, I feel that issue has been set aside because there was no justification whatsoever. Well, my good people, the first thing is to say a big thank you to everybody for all the support, and prayers that have been rendered for the last seven months of our administration.
“I just want to say a very big thank you to everybody, not only Kano State people but the entire good people of Nigeria as well as other people across the globe,” Yusuf said.