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Police authorities in Kano State have vowed to clamp down on any group protesting in the state following a Court of Appeal judgment sacking Governor Abba Yusuf.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as the winner of the March poll.
But the state governorship election petitions tribunal sacked him.
Months after the development, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision. It held that Yusuf was not in the NNPP’s register, making him unqualified to contest the election. The court declared the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Nasiru Gawuna as the winner of the poll in a move that has caused tensions in the North-West state.
Days after the judgment, police authorities in the state say they have gotten reports of groups planning a protest but maintained that they won’t allow such in a bid to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
“The intention of the protesters is to shut down the state in an action that may likely cause violence in the state,” Husaini Gumel said in a Monday press conference in Kano.
Citing the peace accord signed by the NNPP and the APC ahead of the court judgment, the Kano police chief said the parties should, in line with the deal, prevent their supporters from “any mass action, suggesting preparation for violent protests or celebrations”.
Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State gives a broadcast in reaction to his Appeal Court loss on Friday, November 17, 2023.
In the wake of the judgment, Governor Yusuf rejected the ruling as a “miscarriage of justice”, saying he was headed to the Supreme Court to challenge his sacking.
“After careful study and rigorous stakeholder engagement, my team and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), have decided to approach the Supreme Court on the miscarriage of justice, delivered by the Appeal Court, yesterday in Abuja,” he said in a broadcast to residents of the North-West state.
Like the governor, his party has rejected the judgment it labelled as “ridiculous”.
“In spite of overwhelming evidence presented to the tribunal by our team of lawyers, the tribunal passed one of the most ridiculous judgments in the history of election jurisprudence in Nigeria and unjustly declared the APC candidate, who had never joined the petition, as the winner of the election,” NNPP’s Acting National Chairman Abba Ali told journalists at a Saturday news conference in Abuja.
However, the APC says the judgment is a victory for democracy and believes the Supreme Court will uphold the ruling.
“There is no doubt this is a victory for democracy. It is a victory for APC and a victory for Kano State,” the APC National Chairman Abdullahi Ganduje said at his Abuja residence.
“This is an indication that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. Democracy, we can say, is matured in Nigeria. We have to thank all those stakeholders, even the political parties and the NNPP, that took us to the appeal court.”