‘Governors Umar Ganduje of Kano State(APC) and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State(PDP) can now breathe as sigh of relief as the Supreme Court on Monday affirmed their election of Abdullahi Ganduje as governors.
There was some apprehension in the build up to the Supreme Court judgement on gubernatorial election cases, stemming from the shocking judgement that removed Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha last week.
The Supreme court in its judgement, dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP and its candidate, Abba Yusuf.
Adegboyega Awomolo, Counsel to the PDP candidate had argued that the returning officer had cancelled results in 207 polling units, declared the election inconclusive and rescheduled another election for March 23, 2019.
According to Mr Awomolo, the cancellation after announcing the entire results in the state is ultra vires, adding that the declaration of the election as inconclusive is also ultra vires.
“Therefore, the result of the second rescheduled election of March 23 is null and void.
“The only lawful votes at the Kano State governorship election were those announced by the returning officer on March 11.
“In conclusion, I urge your lordship to allow this appeal on the grounds that the appellant scored the highest votes at the election of March 9, 20,19 and satisfied section 179 (2) a and b.,” Mr Awomolo said.
However, Mr Ganduje’s counsel, M.M Duru, in his counter-argument, said the form EC8D does not contain the results of the 207 polling units.
He, therefore, asserted that there was “absolutely no way the returning officer could have declared a winner out of that result.
Mr Duru added that out of the 207 polling units, 62 polling units were from Gama ward.
“The results from that unit were not collated by relevant officers as agents of the appellant carted away the results, locked himself up in a room with a pen, stayed there for an hour, did not return the results to INEC, but took them to the commissioner of police in the state,” he said.
According to Mr Duru, allowing the appeal would mean “sanctioning election violence, giving credit to somebody who has clearly violated the law and admitted the same”.
Meanwhile, the Apex court also dismissed the appeal of the All Progressive Congress and its candidate, Ahmed Aliyu, challenging Aminu Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of Sokoto State.
The seven-member of the apex court , in a unanimous judgement on Monday, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
Justice Uwani Abba-aji read the judgement.