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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.

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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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COVID-19: NCC’s 112 emergency number offers succour to Nigerians

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Nasiru Yusuf

The National Emergency Number 112 established by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is providing succour to Nigerians in the nation’s collective efforts to fight the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, also known COVID-19.

A statement issued by deputy manager online media and special publication, NCC, said Nigerians are able to call emergency response agencies or first respondents with respect to any issue they may want to report on the Coronavirus or other health-related issues and emergencies.

He said already, states and federal government agencies are leveraging the 112 National Emergency Number, whose calls are handled through the Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) established by the Commission across the country.

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According to him the ECC project is the brainchild of NCC to enable easy communication by Nigerians with emergency first responders such as Police, Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Orientation Agency (NOA) among others, by dialing the three-digit toll-free Number 112.

He recallled that on assuming office as the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC in 2015, Prof. Umar Dambatta, quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of ECC across the country in line with the decision of the Nigerian government to enhance security of lives and property and as mandated by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

He noted that the NCC fast-tracked the execution of the emergency project, whose implementation had hitherto been dragging, in recognition of its mandates to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number, which shall be designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally.

He revealed that so far, the ECCs, with their operational 112 toll-free emergency number, have been implemented in 17 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He observed that aside FCT, beneficiary states of the ECC include Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.

“Efforts are ongoing by the Commission to deploy the ECC facility in other states of the Federation.

“Today, the 112 National Emergency Number is fully available in all the aforementioned states and FCT and can be leveraged by Nigerians, as an alternate number to reach first responders at this period of COVID-19 when seeking help and assistance from applicable government response agency during emergencies.

“Already, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, identified the centrality of the 112 number towards handling citizens’ calls for help in this time of Coronavirus pandemic,” the statement revealed.

Mr Obaseki, in a state-wide broadcast to sensitise the people of the state on the epidemic, urged the people of Edo State to take advantage of 112 three-digit, toll-free number to get help from response agencies in case they want to pass critical information to the government and the State Task Force on COVID-19.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020, unveiled the Abuja ECC facility and flagged off the 112 National Emergency Number during the commissioning of the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex at the Mbora District of Abuja.

The President explained that the 112 Number demonstrates his administration’s resolve to keep Nigerians safe.

President Buhari said ‘We have taken advantage of digital technologies to ensure that Nigerians in distress are only a dial away from the relevant emergency response institutions in the country” via the 112 Number.

According to him, the NCC’s 112 National Emergency Number will go a long way in supporting our efforts to improve the security of lives and property.

With Coronavirus spreading across the globe and more people living in isolation, the NCC’s 112 Number is providing alternatives for people to stay in touch and institutions to provide the needed basic life-saving services to the populace.

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COVID-19: 500 beds arrive Kano for Dangote’s isolation centre

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Nazifi Dawud

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s leading business magnate has begun construction of a field hospital with 500-bed capacity at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano city,  as his contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Dangote had announced that he would construct a 600-bed isolation centre for COVID-19 patients in the state.

Kano has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19 as all suspected cases have so far tested negative to the virus.

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In a statement sent to KANO FOCUS on Thursday, Hadiza Namadi, a spokesperson for the state Ministry of Health, said “equipment for 500 beds have arrived the venue today Thursday as construction has commenced in earnest.”

The statement added that a committee, to be headed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa has been formed to supervise the project and to “determine how the center will function including issues on water and power supply and waste disposal.”

“Members of the committee include Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Alh. Kabir Lakwaya, Commissioner of Works, Alh. Magaji Mu’azu, Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Tijjani, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Abdullahi Umar, and a representative from Dangote Foundation,” the statement read.

Medical and health volunteers to apply online

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has also directed all volunteer medical and health professionals who wish to join the fight against the COVID-19 in Kano to make their applications online.

The volunteers have been asked to file their applications via www.kanostate.gov.ng/volunteers.

The ministry, in a statement said the decision to move the exercise online was to ease overcrowding at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, venue of the recruitment exercise.

Kano receives share of Jack Ma’s COVID-19 aid

Also, the Kano state government has received its share of protective medical items that were donated to Nigeria by a Chinese business Mogul Mr Jack Ma, who is the founder of Ali Baba foundation.

According to the state Commissioner for Health, some of the items donated by Mr Jack Ma include face masks, overall gowns and face shields.

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22 suspected COVID-19 cases test negative in Kano

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Kano state government has revealed that 22 suspected cases of COVID-19 have tested negative just as results of three more persons are being awaited.

KANO FOCUS reports that the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at his office.

Mr Tsanyawa also dismissed rumours that two persons with symptoms of the coronavirus disease were isolated at the Kwanar Dawaki isolation center.

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He said the state government has taken “drastic measures” against the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the commissioner explained that the government is planning to establish a COVID-19 test centre to eliminate the burden of transporting samples for tests outside the state.

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