Contradictions in Kano: Confusion Over CTC of Judgment Sacking Governor

The Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the Kano governorship election dispute has caused confusion in the state, Daily Trust reports.

The court had on Friday reaffirmed the decision of the tribunal that sacked the state governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) over his party membership issue.

However, the CTC of the judgment, which was obtained by Daily Trust on Tuesday, showed some contradictory rulings by the court.

In the lead judgment by Justice Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein, the judge stated on Page 68 that “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favour of the 1st respondent and against the appellant.”

The appellant in the case is Governor Yusuf while the 1st respondent is the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NNPP as 2nd and 3rd respondents.

The judge also stated that “In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favour of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.

“Therefore, I find no merit in this appeal which is liable to be and is hereby dismissed.

The judgment of the tribunal in Petition No.: EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023 between: AL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) v. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS. delivered on the 20th day of September, 2023 is hereby set aside.

“The sum of N1,000,000.00 (one million naira only) is hereby awarded as costs in favour of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.”

The last three statements of the judge seemed to imply that the tribunal judgment that removed Governor Yusuf had been overturned and his mandate restored, while the first statement implied that the tribunal judgment was upheld.

To add to the confusion, in the concurring judgment by Justice Bitrus G. Sanga on Page 69, the judge said that “My brother in the leading judgment considered the pleadings of the parties, the evidence adduced in support thereof together with statutory and judicial authorities cited, quoted and relied upon before reaching the inevitable decision that this appeal is bereft of merit.

“I agree with and adopt as mine the finding and conclusion reached by my learned brother and also dismissed this appeal and affirm the decision by the trial Tribunal in its judgment delivered on 20/9/2023 in Petition No. EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023.”

Similarly, the third judge on the panel, Justice Lateef Ganiyu in his concurring judgment said on Page 72 that “In the circumstance, I am of solemn view that this Appeal is liable to be and is hereby dismissed. Iabide with the consequential order as to cost.”

While some NNPP supporters in the state interpreted the development as favourable to their party, a lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity said the contradiction might be a typographical error, noting that the reasoning of the court in the earlier parts of the judgment aligned with the widely reported verdict that Governor Yusuf has been sacked based on his party membership issue.