The Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has fixed Wednesday for judgement in the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the victory of Malam Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), who has since become the state governor.
The tribunal announced this development on Monday in a hearing notice sent to parties involved in the matter.
The secretary of the NNPP legal team, Barrister Bashir Tudun Wuzirci, who confirmed the date to Daily Trust, said the team was served with the notice Monday evening.
“We are happy that the day is finally at hand and we are very happy because we know the petition will be dismissed with cost.
“We are hoping the tribunal will follow suit with the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal because the matters are similar”, he said.
The APC Deputy Chairman in Kano State, Shehu Maigari said the party expected the judgement “to be in our favour based on the documented evidence we submitted to the tribunal, we are optimistic that we will come out victorious.
“We are not afraid of anything because we are confident in the evidential documents we have submitted. So we are optimistic based on what we have submitted”.
The expectation on the judgement has generated tension in the state with both parties organising prayers to seek for God’s assistance, while the Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Adamu Kibiya, who issued death threat to the tribunal judges, had been sacked by the governor.
During the adoption of final written addresses, the respondents to the petition – the Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor Yusuf and the NNPP all urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition, while the APC urged the tribunal to uphold the petition and return its governorship candidate, Nasir Gawuna as the winner of the election.
APC, Offiong Offiong, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), submitted that the evidence the petitioner had tendered before the tribunal had established that Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP before the election and as such could not have been duly elected.
He also submitted that the respondents were not able to deny that there were deficiencies in some of the over 130,000 ballot papers used to declare Yusuf as the winner and that if those were minus from the total tally, his client would instead emerge the winner of the 28th March election.
Counsel to the governor, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, also a SAN, submitted that all the 29 witnesses called by the petitioner were impostors and the tribunal should not act on any of the evidence given by them.