across response to the dismissal of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigerian People’s Party by the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, the Kano State administration on Wednesday imposed a 24-hour curfew across the state in an effort to prevent a breakdown in law and order.
Following the declaration of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Nasir Gawuna, as the victor of the state’s March 2023 gubernatorial election by the three-member election tribunal presided over by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, security was stepped up throughout Kano on Wednesday.
In a statement, state Commissioner of Police Mohammed Gumel acknowledged the curfew order and stated that it was in place from Wednesday at 6 p.m. until Thursday at 6 p.m. (today).
Gumel threatened to enforce the order strictly, vowing to arrest anybody who disobeyed and subjecting them to the full force of the law.
He declared, “The state administration has issued a 24-hour curfew order, which will be in force from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, to 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 21 of the same year. The letter bearing reference number: K/SEC/H/435/T.1/153 was sent on September 20, 2023.
As per the Nigeria Police Force’s constitutional mandate, the Kano State Police Command has devised strategies to maintain law and order in the state by working with relevant law enforcement and internal security agencies. The command has also appealed to the good people of the state to provide the necessary confidence and support.
Residents of Kano State are urged to be aware that integrated security personnel have already been sent to all corners of the state, including its entrances and exits, to guarantee that the curfew is strictly enforced. Ignorants shall be apprehended and exposed to the full force of the law.
Last but not least, Gumel said, “I want to thank all the peaceful residents of the state and encourage them to continue abiding by the law since it is in everyone’s best interest that we work together to uphold law and order in the state.”
Before the curfew was put in place, worried vendors had quickly closed their doors in the main marketplaces and shopping centres as locals raced home following the tribunal’s decision to void Yusuf’s election as governor of Kano State.
The court stated that Yusuf’s certificate of return should be revoked and that Gawuna should receive a new one.
The tribunal’s Miller Road location was the site of the panel’s initial Zoom transmission of the proceedings.
A few weeks had passed since August 21, when the attorneys for both sides presented their closing arguments on behalf of their respective clients.
The governor’s 165,663 votes were declared void by the court.
The ballots for the 165,663 votes were deemed invalid by the judge because they were not signed and stamped.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the NNPP received 1,019,602 votes, while the APC’s nominee received 890,705 votes. By a margin of 128,897 votes, the NNPP candidate won as a result.
Nonetheless, the APC petitioned the tribunal to contest the results that the electoral authority had announced.
The tribunal further stated in its ruling that the sponsorship and party membership disputes are party internal matters.
In response to the ruling, the NNPP’s interim National Chairman, Abba Ali, claimed that the tribunal was essentially recreating the results of the 2019 governorship election, with the people’s mandate being overturned and granted to the loser.
The party pledged that the alleged skewed judgement would not stand, while urging millions of its supporters in the state and nationwide to remain composed and preserve the peace.
“The Kano State Election Petition Tribunal’s ruling on the March 18, 2023, governorship election is met with complete scepticism and disbelief,” stated Ali.
“The NNPP regretfully remembers that by ignoring the will of the people and giving the results of the election to the losing candidates, this tribunal has merely repeated the unholy script of 2019.”
“The reported ruling rendered our governorship candidate, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, ineligible after he shamelessly gave the vote to APC candidate Nasiru Gawuna, despite it being a free, credible, and internationally recognised election.”
The statement said that the tribunal improperly withheld 165,663 of Yusuf’s votes and gave them to the APC candidate. It called the ruling absurd and a miscarriage of justice.
In addition to being a blow to constitutionalism and the rule of law, the tribunal’s ruling may further erode public trust in the legal system. This egregious ruling will be appealed by the NNPP, the party declared.
Counsel for the NNPP, Bashir Wada, announced that his clients would file an appeal against the tribunal’s decision.
“The tribunal has rendered its own decision. We will confer with our clients and, I assure you, we will file an appeal against this ruling because we believe it does not fairly represent the facts of the case. I can guarantee that this decision will be overturned on appeal,” he said.
“This decision is not new; it is nearly identical to the one made by the Osun State tribunal, which allowed the tribunal to review a document that had been tendered in advance even in the absence of evidence.” I promise that, with God’s blessing, the Court of Appeal will not hear this judgement.
Ladipo Johnson, the NNPP Presidential Campaign Council’s spokesperson, added that the party would challenge the decision.