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Ganduje vs Abba: The journey to the Supreme Court

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje  of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenger Abba Kabir Yusuf will know their fate this Monday as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the rightful winner of the 2019 governorship election.

In this report, KANO FOCUS recalls the political and legal battles that landed the duo at the Supreme Court.

It could be recalled that 52 candidates including eight women contested for the governorship seat on March O9, 2019.

Trouble began with the reported disruption of collation process at Nassarawa local government by high ranking government officials.

Ganduje vs Abba: Supporters pray, fast, ahead of Supreme Court verdict

Massive security in Kano as Ganduje, Abba know fate today

On March 11, the Kano state police command announced the arrest of commissioner for local government, Murtala Sule Garo, and the Chairman, Nassarawa local government, Lamin Sani for allegedly destroying Gama ward election result.

The police also announced that it had taken the Kano state deputy governor, Nasiru Gawuna who accompanied the arrested officials into “protective custody”.

Following this incident, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Riskuwa Arabu Shehu told journalists that the commission would regenerate the election result.

However, the state’s Returning Officer Bello Shehu announced that the election is inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes is higher than the difference between the two leading candidates.

The result announced by INEC, indicated that the PDP candidate polled 1,014,474 votes, while Mr Ganduje of the APC scored 987,819 votes leaving a difference of 26,655 votes.

While the total votes cancelled across 22 local governments including Gama ward of Nasarawa local government were 141,694 votes.

Supplementary Election

On March 24, INEC conducted supplementary elections at 28 out of 44 local governments of Kano state.

The supplementary election was characterized by violence and voter intimidation by armed thugs.

After the supplementary election, INEC declared Mr Ganduje winner having scored 45,876 votes to Mr Yusuf’s 10,239 thereby upturning the result in his favor.

The Returning Officer, Mr. Shehu, announced that Mr Ganduje scored a total vote of 1,033,695 while Mr Yusuf polled 1,024,713.

The winning margin was 8,982 between the two major candidates.

The PDP and its governorship candidate rejected the result and asked INEC to cancel it.

Election Petition Tribunal

On Thursday April 11th, PDP and its governorship candidate filed a petition against the victory of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje as winner of the March 23 governorship election in Kano State as announced by the INEC.

The petition filed by the party before the governorship election tribunal contended that its governorship candidate, Abba Yusuf, won the March 9 election, as such any result other than that was a nullity.

The party also contended that the supplementary election conducted by INEC was unconstitutional and unlawful.

Mr Kabir-Yusuf told journalists shortly after filing the petition “during the March 9 governorship election, the PDP got the highest votes across the 44 local governments in the state.

“To me as the PDP candidate the only election that took place was on March 9.

“The issue of supplementary election as far as PDP is concerned was an illegality which we reject and have nothing to do with.”

On  July 16, counsel to PDP, Adeboyega Awomolo, filed a motion on notice seeking the tribunal to grant his clients leave to amend the names of witnesses and their initials earlier presented alongside the petition.

Counsels to Ganduje and the INEC, Offiong Offiong and Adedayo Adedeji objected to the application and urged the tribunal to dismiss it.

In her ruling, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki, dismissed the application saying that, “If the application is granted it will overreach the respondents and it will be an abuse of court process.”

However, court of appeal sitting in Kaduna granted the application of governorship candidate of PDP, Mr Kabir-Yusuf, to amend its witness list with additional eight “star” witnesses in his case against Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Justice Adedotun Adefoke-Okoji, while delivering judgment on the appeal filed by the appellant, granted all the prayers of the petitioner.

Mr Ganduje filed a notice of appeal against the judgment to the Supreme Court, and the apex court upheld the ruling of court of appeal.

On October 2, Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Halima Shamaki had in its unanimous judgment   dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and Mr Kabir-Yusuf on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove their claims that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

The tribunal also held that INEC was right in declaring the March 9 election in Kano State inconclusive and also in declaring Mr. Ganduje the winner of the supplementary election held on March 23.

It also said that declaring an election as inconclusive where there are lawful reasons is constitutional.

Court of Appeal

On April 11 the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate filed a petition at the Appeal Court against the October 2 judgment of the election petition tribunal.

However, in a unanimous decision delivered on November 22, a five-man panel of the court led by Justice Tijjani Abubakar dismissed the appeal by the PDP and its governorship candidate.

Just In: Appeal Court upholds Ganduje’s election

Kano APC denies PDP claims of plot to change Appeal Court judges

The court affirmed the October 2 judgment of the Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal, which had dismissed the petition by PDP and its candidate, challenging Ganduje’s victory at the supplementary election.

Supreme Court

In protest to the court of Appeal verdict, the PDP filed an appeal at Supreme Court.

Rowdy crowd, judge’s illness compel Supreme Court to adjourn hearing on Kano election petition

On January 14, the court fixed January 20 to deliver its judgment.

 

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Kano records 1,114 cases of gender based violence in 2019

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano state sexual referral centre, Waraka, has recorded 1,114 sexual and gender based violence in 2019, according to the state’s chief judge Nura Sagir.

Justice Sagir revealed this on Monday during the public sitting of the special investigation panel on sexual and gender based violence organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for North West geo-political zone, held in Kano.

The chief judge, represented by Maryam Sabo, said the judiciary has treated 194 sexual and gender based cases in 2019.

He also assured speedy trial and severe punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, all hands must be on deck to address menace of sexual and gender based violence.

In his address, the Executive Secretary of National Human Right Commission, Tony Ojukwu, said the panel was constituted to hear complaints and investigate alleged violation of human rights by individuals, security agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

Other mandate of the panel according to him is to identify victims of violation and abuse and make recommendations for further action including prosecution, disciplinary proceedings and damages.

Mr Ojukwu recalled that, the panel was constituted as a result of complaint received, where armed security personnel led by Abuja Environmental Protection Board under the auspices of the FCT Joint Task Force raided night clubs and the streets of Abuja.

He observed that, although about 71 women accused of prostitution were arrested in the raids, no men were arrested for committing similar offence.

The Executive Secretary noted that, members of the panel were carefully selected to represent diverse interests of the society. They include academics, gender experts, civil society and professional groups.

“So far the panel has received 114 complaints and memo across 6 geopolitical zones, with South East accounting for the highest number of 35, representing 30% of the total complaints received. North Central accounts for 19; North West has twelve; South South has 26; South West 15 and North East 4.

“The commission has completed its sitting in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri, and has recorded success stories already where victims of SGBV and other members of the public who submitted memorandum and complaints were heard in close chambers,” Mr Ojukwu said.

He noted that, the essence of the public sitting is to check the scourge of sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria and provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complainants and alleged violators of human rights.

Also speaking the executive chairman of Kano state Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) Muhyi Rimingado said over 30 percent of over 7,000 cases treated the Commission, were human rights related.

He noted that human rights abuses is so alarming in public and private institutions more especially sexual and gender based violence.

The Kano state ombudsman said many victims of sexual abuses are suffering in silence due to stigmatization and cultural values.

The public sitting continued in private after the opening ceremony.

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Pantami tasks NCC to get rid of ‘improperly-registered’ SIM cards

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has directed the new Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande to purge the industry of improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

Dr Pantami also charged the NCC to develop regulations on the number of SIM cards an individual or organisation can have at any particular time, as well as ensure seamless integration of SIM data with the national database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Dr Pantami said this on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony for Mr Akande, who is representing the South West zone, as the chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners, and Chief Uche Onwude, the commissioner representing the South-East zone.

The event took place at the Minister’s office in Abuja.

Mr Pantami gave the new chairman a marching order to hit the ground running by providing necessary direction for effective regulation of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

He said: “The NCC board must hit the ground running. There is no time for celebrations now and no time for honeymoon. We would congratulate the NCC board after you must have completed your tenure with resounding successes and achievements that have positive impact on Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, Mr Akande, who spoke after taking his oath of office, assured of his readiness to work with other members of the Board and Management team of the Commission to exceed expectation in providing quality directions for effective regulation of the nation’s telecommunications industry.

Mr Akande, who had served as chairman of the board of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) before his present appointment, said there is no doubt that the NCC, as the nation’s telecom regulator, has a major role to play in the development of the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of effective regulation that can bring efficiency across sectors.

He said: “We want to thank everybody who has been with us since our nomination by the President in the last two months. There is no doubt that NCC has a major role to play in our national life at this time, especially in the area of security.

“For instance, many people on the street believe that security of lives and property will be bolstered once the NCC is able to properly address issues connected to Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration because we would have helped to resolve a critical percentage of our security issue significantly.

“I know our minister is someone, who normally sets high expectations and standards. I have worked with him at NITDA and I know he is somebody who normally expects the best from his team. To this end, I give you the commitment of the board and management of the NCC to work together to meet and exceed expectations”.

Who is Professor Adeolu Akande?

Mr Akande is a professor of political science and notable scholar of media and politics. He was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of the NCC Board on December 23, 2019.

He was subsequently confirmed on February 5, 2020 by the Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s federal bicameral legislature.

With the swearing-in of Akande and Onwude, the NCC now has a fully-constituted board of commissioners as stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, and all the six geopolitical zones are represented on the Board.

While giving the Vote of Thanks, Prof. Umar, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Minister for his continuous support to the Commission and requested the minister to kindly convey the Commission’s appreciation to the President for “ensuring that we now have the full complement of the NCC board members.”

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Woman, 4 girls die in pit while excavating sand in Kano

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By Abubakar Abdulkadir Dangambo.

A woman and four children died in Dauni village of Minjibir local government area of Kano state while excavating sand following the collapse of the tunnel from which they were conducting the activity.

KANO FOCUS reports that the accident occurred on Thursday.

Spokesperson of the Kano State Fire Service, Malam Sai’idu Mohammed, identified the victims as Sa’ida Lawwali, 32, Dije Shu’aibu, 8; Hadiza Shu’aibu, 12; Nana Idris, 12; and Wasila Nuhu, 13.

He added that a 5 -year old boy Ibrahim Shuaibu was rescued from the site with injuries along with other survivors.

Mr Mohammed said most of the survivors sustained serious injuries in the accident and are currently receiving treatment.

According to him, the accident occurred on Thursday at about 2.45 pm at Ramin Farar Kasa in the village when the victims were excavating white sand used for make-up powder.

“We received a distress call on Thursday afternoon from Dauni village through one Malam Danlami Murtala at about 02:45 pm that a heap of sand has trapped six people, who were digging sand.

“Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our firemen and a fire engine to the scene of the incident. We made frantic efforts to rescue the victims but we were only able to successfully rescue the little boy of about four years old, who was found alive,” Mr Mohammed told reporters.

He said bodies of the victims have been handed over to the village head of Dauni, Alhaji Bello Rabi’u for burial.

A resident of the area, Zakari Ya’u Sanbauna said the victims usually visited the site to extract a particular variety of sand that is used to produce makeup powder for women.

“They usually take the sand to Kano city, they are very popular in the village, this is a sad incident for us because it has never happened before,” Mr Sanbauna added.

Another resident Abdulkadir Hassan, called on government to regulate sand excavation and mining activities in the area through training on safety standards.

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