ADEKUNLE Aderibigbe, a key member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Lagos State, has criticized the recent verdict of the Appeal Court which ousted the party’s governor in Kano State, Abba Yusuf. According to Aderibigbe, the decision is an attempt to deprive the majority of Kano’s residents of their legitimate mandates.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Aderibigbe emphasized that the court’s ruling should not undermine the fundamental principle of majority rule, which is the cornerstone of democracy.
He asserted, “The Appeal Court’s decision to nullify the election victory of Kano State governor Abba Kabir Yusuf not only undermines the core principle of democracy, which is the choice of the majority, but also the citizens’ participation in the electoral process.”
“Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s party membership was never disputed by any NNPP member before his election, nor was it denied by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Calling into question his party membership eight months after the election shows a lack of substantial evidence to nullify the election outcome,” he continued.
Expressing NNPP’s intention to seek justice through the Supreme Court, Aderibigbe expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would reinstate Yusuf as the rightful governor of Kano.
“The law will restore the legitimate position and interests of the majority of Kano citizens, which is the primary democratic concern, rather than siding with the pettiness of the prior verdict,” he stated.
It is worth noting that the Appeal Court, in a significant ruling on Friday, upheld the decision of the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which earlier invalidated Yusuf’s election in September.
A unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices at the appellate court stated that Yusuf was not a valid candidate in the gubernatorial election held in the state on March 18, providing evidence that he was not a member of the NNPP at the time of the election.
“Sponsorship without membership is like putting something on nothing,” remarked the court in its lead judgment delivered by Justice M. U. Adumeh.
Consequently, the court declared Nasiru Gawuna of the APC as the winner of the March 18, 2023, Kano State governorship election.
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