A certified true copy of the Court of Appeal judgment on the Kano governorship election has caused confusion in the state. The widely reported verdict last Friday suggested that the court upheld the decision of the petition tribunal to sack Governor Abba Yusuf. However, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Isa-Dederi, argued that the certified copy of the judgment showed that Yusuf’s victory was affirmed by the appeal court.
In a press conference on Tuesday night, Isa-Dederi revealed that the Court of Appeal had set aside the judgment of the Kano Election Petition Tribunal due to lack of merit. He referred to page 67 of the judgment, signed by Registrar Jameel Ibrahim Umar, which upheld the victory of Abba Kabiru Yusuf as the duly elected Governor of Kano.
The appeal court panel, consisting of three members, dismissed the governor’s appeal on November 17, 2023, based on his membership status. Subsequently, the court affirmed Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the governorship poll in March 2023.
Contrary to the verbal statements made by the justices in the courtroom, the certified true copy of the judgment on page 67 indicated that the tribunal’s ruling to sack the governor was set aside. The commissioner asserted that this written evidence vindicated Yusuf as the legitimate governor of the state.
However, there seems to be a mix-up in the conclusions of the judgment. Justice Moore Adumein, in his lead judgment, stated, “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favor of the first respondent and against the appellant.” The judge then continued, “In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favor of the appellant and against the first respondent. Therefore, I find no merit in this appeal, which is liable to be and is hereby dismissed.”
This contradiction in the judgment has caused confusion, as it appears that the Court of Appeal both quashed the governor’s sacking and upheld the tribunal’s decision simultaneously. Justices Bitrus Sanga and Lateef Ganiyu concurred with the lead judgment.