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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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Kano Emir to head community policing advisory committee

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero as head of a community policing advisory committee.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Bayero is expected to work together with a deputy commissioner of police, Balarabe Sule, who is also the chairman of a second committee–the State Community Policing Community–to enhance security in the state.

Mr Ganduje inaugurated the two committees at the Government House, Kano on Friday.

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“The committee will be giving advice on how to come about the issue of security in the state,” the governor said, referring to the emir’s team.

Mr Ganduje said there is need for communities to be engaged in the fight against crime.

“We urge people to cooperate with the security agencies in providing them with useful information. Because it is the people of the community who know criminals among them,” he added.

In his remarks the Inspector General of Police, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General, (DIG) Andul Dahiru Danwawu commended Mr Ganduje for his efforts on security in the state.

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Ganduje’s 2nd term worst in Kano history – Opposition

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Ganduje Oathtaking

Abubakar Dangambo and Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje’s second term is the worst in history according to the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, a charge that the government has dismissed.

Former PDP chairman and Kwankwasiyya stalwart Umar Haruna Doguwa made the accusation in an interview with Kano Focus marking the first anniversary of Mr Ganduje’s second term.

Mr Doguwa said Ganduje’s administration has not introduced a single new project within the year under review.

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“In terms of infrastructure I have not seen anywhere within one year where one block of new project was put. Just check. New project? This year? No.”

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Mr Doguwa also accused the Ganduje administration of destroying both the traditional and religious heritages of Kano state within the year.

“Kano traditional institution is known far and even beyond Africa. But it was destroyed by only one person for his selfish desire.

“I am referring to the balkanisation of Kano emirate and subsequent dethronement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll. This cannot be forgotten.

“Secondly, take Kano as the centre of commerce and religious learning.

“Even in that learning, there was no time in the history of Kano when system of Islamic learning was worst hit, like this one year of Ganduje administration.

“You know the issue of Almajirai which was supposed to be modernised, but destroyed by this administration.

“The worst is branding a particular group of Ulama as anti-government.

These two actions have direct consequences on government progress,” Mr Doguwa said.

Free or Borrowed Education?

The opposition politician also faulted the implementation of free and compulsory education policy by the Ganduje administration.

He accused Mr Ganduje of excluding tertiary students from the program’s beneficiaries as he claimed was the case during the Kwankwaso administration.

“It should also be on record that total free education being operated by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was given free of charge, without any foreign or local loan from anywhere.

“The so-called free education being operated by governor Ganduje is for a cost.

“Though it is partly funded by some donors, I learnt that he has collected N15 billion loan, for what?” Mr Doguwa said.

He also criticised the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Ganduje administration.

“The way it was handled was nothing to write home about.

“Poor people were put in lockdown without palliatives.

“Even in the steering committee you put children you loved against professionalism. People were not fully sensitised.

“Look, the governor made a pronouncement that the government will give palliatives to 500,000 people of Kano out of about 20 million population.

“Even at that, the governor later said they are starting with 50,000 people, where only four people were selected from each political ward. It is just a sham, and it will not solve the problem.” Mr Doguwa said.

Our government has done well

However, Kano state commissioner for youths and sports, Kabiru Ado Lakwaya dismissed the allegations as mere ranting by the opposition.

Mr Lakwaya told Kano Focus that despite challenges, the government has achieved huge successes in the areas of education, health, economy, youths, transportation and infrastructure.

He said Mr Ganduje is championing the integration of Almajiri into the formal education sector.

“The policy on Almajiri repatriation will continue as it sees the move an opportunity to make life better for them as citizens.

“It is a collective effort by northern governors to tackle insecurity in the region.” He said.

The commissioner also said contrary to claims by the opposition of lapses in the handling of Covid 19 pandemic, Mr Ganduje was the first governor in Nigeria to set up an isolation centre even before the virus reached Kano.

“He imposed movement restrictions and banned inter-states movement all in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus in Kano.” Mr Lakwaya said.

He also dismissed allegations that the government’s only achievement was the balkanization of the Kano Emirate.

“Even the opposition are now happy with the creation of the new Emirates as it helps in developing their communities.

Much needs to be done

Meanwhile, a political analyst, Kabiru Sufi said Mr Ganduje’s second term has achieved a pass mark in the education sector.

Mr Sufi, who holds a PhD in Political Science, told Kano Focus that the government needs to double its efforts to fulfil its promises in education.

“A special launch was made a bill has been taken to the state assembly to secure funds for the program.”

“Launching the program is not enough, as more need to be done, government should redouble effort to actualize the projects, but fairly speaking, government needs to do more.” Mr Sufi said.

The political scientist said the government has also recorded success in infrastructural development though most of the projects are still under construction.

He however argued that critical sectors like agriculture and water supply were not given deserve priority yet, and water supply continues to remain major problem for Kano residents.

Mr Sufi said the government has failed to fulfil its promise of establishing a world class cancer centre though it has launched the project.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many problems in the health sector which need serious attention.

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Pantami not responsible for NIDCOM’s withdrawal from office complex–NCC

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has, again, clarified that the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, was never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex located at Mbora District, Abuja, as the public is being made to believe.

The Commission reiterated this position in a press statement signed by its Director Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, in which it made further clarifications to the members of public and other stakeholders on the situation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, was never involved in the offer to the office space, nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space. the Minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue,” he said.

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According to Dr. Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.

“It should, however, be made abundantly clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance, to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC, which led to the taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.

The Commission, therefore, reiterates its confidence in the leadership, person and office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

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