- Kano-based lawyer Umar Sa'ad Hassan said Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has little chance at the Supreme Court
- Umar said it is difficult to fault the judgement of the Court of Appeal because his name was not on the NNPP register APC got from INEC
- In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, the lawyer said the Kano people voted for Governor Yusuf and would be displeased should he be removed from office through the court
Legit.ng journalist Adekunle Dada has over 5 years of experience covering metro and government policy
Kanos state - A Kano-based lawyer and professional negotiator and mediator, Umar Sa'ad Hassan, has predicted the chances of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano state at the Supreme Court.
Governor Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) approached the apex court after being sacked by the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.
Speaking on Governor Yusuf’s chances at the Supreme during an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Umar said the NNPP governor has little chance of upturning the appellate court's verdict.
Umar said the NNPP and Gov Yusuf’s camp have been unable to counter the appeal judgement on any legal basis.
“I think he has very little chance of winning at the Apex court. When the tribunal erroneously deducted 165k votes from his tally citing the Electoral Act, you could see just about every lawyer was criticising that decision and proffering the superior argument that the same electoral act says unsigned result sheets can be counted if the returning officer is satisfied they emanated from the booklet. Right now everyone is just speaking English with no legal basis to counter the court of appeal. It will be hard for Yusuf to win.”
He added that the All Progressive Congress (APC) presented a certified copy of the NNPP register from INEC, and Governor Yusuf‘s name was missing.
Umar said that based on the above, it is hard to fault the appeal court's decision.
“It's never nice to see courts upturn electoral victories on grounds other than that a candidate had more valid votes but it's hard to fault the decision of the court of appeal. The constitution of the federal republic says only the member of a party can contest elections and Section 77 of the Electoral Act says a register of members must be submitted 30 days before a party's primary election. Effectively, anyone whose name isn't on it isn't a member. That is not a pre-election matter as our courts have erroneously held. It is not a case of whether or not a candidate was validly nominated by a party or other matters in the realm of a party's constitution. The APC presented a certified copy of the NNPP register from INEC without Yusuf's name. Hard to fault that decision honestly.”
On the implication should the Supreme Court uphold the appellate court judgement, the negotiator and mediator expert said there is no doubt that the people of Kano state voted for Governor Yusuf, and they are bound to be displeased should he be removed from office through the court.
He said the judgement would affect the people’s faith in the electoral system.
Ultimately, he said, should the APC candidate, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, emerge as governor, he would need to win over the NNPP lawmakers who are majority in the State House of Assembly, and failure to do that might make the state ungovernable.
“The implications will be dire. What is not in doubt is that Kano voted for Governor Yusuf overwhelmingly. He is very much loved and the people are bound to be displeased. This will affect their faith in the electoral system. Furthermore, we have a majority NNPP state house. In the event that an APC Governor fails to woo some NNPP members to his camp, they may make the state ungovernable for him.”
Prominent Lawyer speaks on chances of Kano, Plateau governors
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said Governor Yusuf and Governor Caleb Muftwang of Kano and Plateau states, respectively, have good ground to appeal their sack at the Supreme Court.
Effiong said the reason for sacking the governors was pre-election and party affair matters which the court has no jurisdiction over.
The prominent lawyer said the decision of the governors to appeal the appellate court judgement is good even though he can’t predict the outcome of their appeal at the apex court.