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Friday Sermon: The month Of Dhul-Hijjah and the Significance of It’s first ten days



Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.” [Al-Imran:102]

Dear brothers and sisters! Be conscious of Allah and obey Him. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and what they contained of worships, such as Hajj, Udhiyyah (Layyah), remembrance of Allah and fasting, was a great school that taught us how to adhere to the commands of Allah. So it must be a lesson for us going forward in accounting ourselves in every command and prohibition of Allah so that we attain consciousness of Allah.

Starting with Hajj, we note the limited number of pilgrims performing Hajj this year due to the pandemic. Wallahi, millions yearned to perform Hajj but were unable to do so. But whoever sincerely intends to perform a deed and is prevented will be rewarded wholly by Allah Almighty. Also, Allah selects from His servants whom He wills. And that the bounty is in the Hands of Allah and He bestows it upon whom He wills and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.

At the same time, whoever Allah Almighty blessed and performed Hajj this year should be cautious of self-admiration and pride. For Allah Almighty is knowledgeable of the pious.

Even though the number of pilgrims was limited there was so much diversity within them…in their nationalities, in spoken language etc… We realise that it is only the religion of Allah that united them. For the pilgrims are like one body. Wearing the same clothing. They were united in the Talbiyyah exchanging it for any patriotic chant. Without pride in lineage or status. There is one gauge as Allah said:

“Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” [Al-Hujurat:13]

And as the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Indeed your Lord is One, and indeed your father is one, and your religion is one and your Prophet is one. And there is no virtue of an Arab over a non-Arab. And not for a non-Arab over an Arab. And not for red complexion over black complexion and not for black complexion over red complexion except through taqwa (consciousness of Allah).”

Next, let us consider the Ibadah of sacrifice, Udhiyyah (Layyah). The Udhiyyah (Layyah) taught us the meaning of sacrifice and submission to Allah. It taught us the importance of spending of what we love for the sake of Allah Almighty. For Allah is Good and accepts only that which is good. And you will not attain real piety until you spend of what you love. The Udhiyyah (Layyah) taught us that every act of worship is performed only for the sake of Allah. Allah Almighty said:

“So pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice [to Him alone].” [Al-Kawthar: 2]

Respected servants of Allah! The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah taught us to follow a righteous deed with another righteous deed. Imam As-Sa’adi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“And this is what a servant should do. Any time he completes an act of worship, he should seek forgiveness from Allah for his shortcomings. And thank Him for the success. Not like the one who thinks that they have perfected the act of worship. And that he did a favour to Allah. And that it gave him a high station. For this is truly an abhorrent and repulsive action.”

Dear brothers and sisters! In the blessed first ten days, we adhered to making remembrance of Allah, so we must continue making remembrance. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The similitude of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not is like that of the living and the dead.”

And our Lord described the believers as those:

“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Al-Imran: 191]

My beloved people! Remembrance of Allah is a wide sphere. For the Muslim wakes up and sleeps and comes and goes while he is making remembrance of Allah Almighty. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said in describing the important and virtue of remembrance of Allah, he said:

“Should I not inform you of the best of your deeds, and the purest of them with your Master, and the highest of them in your ranks, and what is better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks, and they strike your necks?” They said: “Of course.” He said, “The remembrance of Allah [Most High].”

My great people! In the blessed first ten days, we drew nearer to Allah through different types of good deeds. Through remembrance of Allah, by fasting on the day of Arafah and by sacrificing Udhiyyah (Layyah). So what is our expectation of Allah? We should have good expectations that Allah will not turn us away disappointed. Allah Almighty said:

“I am as My servant thinks I am.”

May Allah accept from us and you the righteous deeds performed in the blessed first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Oh Allah make us among those who remember You while standing and sitting and while on our sides. Oh Allah make us among those who follow a good deed with another good deed. Indeed You are All Hearing, Answering.

Dear brothers and sisters! I advise myself and you to be conscious of Allah Almighty, to obey Him and avoid disobeying Him. For we do not know when we will part our worldly life to our graves. And we do not know the situation in which our life will be sealed. And we do not know with what deed we will meet our Lord. Death could come to a person suddenly while he is on the best and most sound condition. At the same time, thinking of death makes the living sad. And people fear for themselves. Because of little preparation and weak readiness. And this necessitates people to have constant fear and anticipate death at any moment. Allah Almighty said:

“And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e., death].” Al-Hijr:99]

Respected servants of Allah! Allah made fearing death an innate characteristic of the living. And to take precautions against its causes. And avoiding what leads to it. Just as He made their innate nature cling on to life. And to spend the expensive and precious for its sake. The young and old are the same in this regard. Just as are: the believer and disbeliever, the righteous and evil doer, the insane and sane and mankind and animals. And man is not careless regarding life.

Forgetting death is a cause for distraction, heedlessness, and immersion in this world, just as remembering death is a cause for not being attached to this world and a motivation for performing righteous deeds. Therefore, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) urged us to remember death and not to forget it so that we do not become heedless. He (Peace be upon him) said:

“Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures (death).” [An-Nisa’i]

In the face of this great and enormous truth, it does not benefit a person to overlook or ignore it saying: Between me and death are many long years. And he does not know. Maybe death could come to him soon.

So what would be his fate if death came to him suddenly?

My people! We must face this question with courage. And stand before it for a long time. Because it is a big and dangerous question. And it is not rational to ignore or forget it. And how can we forget it and Allah Almighty has alerted us to the seriousness of the issue? And he has warned us against heedlessness and being deceived by this worldly life. Allah Almighty said:

“O mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver [i.e., Satan]. Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.” [Fatir: 5-6]

Marvelous and great wonders are revealed to a person by remembering death. It shows him that this worldly life is not worth anything. And does not deserve all this toiling and deception and treachery. And misery for the sake of collecting its fleeting debris.

And remembering death, opens the door of detachment from this very temporary abode. And getting prepared for the real and permanent home. And it makes him feel that his true future is not from material gains in this worldly life. Or attaining glory or a position. Or by having status among people. Rather, the real future for him will be after death from eternal bliss in the gardens of bliss. Or in misery and hell.

Deep reflection of this bitter truth shakes a person. It wakes him up to prepare him for the horrors ahead.

Imam Al-Hasan (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Death exposed the worldly life and did not leave a joy in it for the intelligent one. And a person does not oblige his heart to remember death, except that the worldly life is minimised in his eyes. And all that is in it is insignificant to him.”

One of the pious predecessors looked at his house one day and was impressed by its beauty. then he wept and said:

“By Allah, had it not been for death, I would have been pleased with you. And were it not that we will go to the narrowness of the graves, our eyes would have been delighted by this worldly life.”

Dear brothers and sisters! I ask Allah Almighty to grant us a good conclusion. And reflection about those who came before us. And preparation for what is in front of us. And to spare us from humiliation in this world and from the torment in the hereafter. Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.

Dear brothers and sisters! Wallahi we will not be  immortal in this world in which we live. And it will not remain forever. For it has an end just as it had a beginning. And we know that each day many people die and are buried. And it is inevitable that one day we will be one of them, whether that is sooner or later. So we should capitalise on every opportunity to better our afterlives.

We will soon have one of these golden opportunities and embrace a noble guest that will stay with us for ten days. That guest is the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ten great and blessed days. Allah Almighty favoured them over the other days. He the Almighty took an oath by them in His Great Book (Al-Qur’an), He said:

“By the dawn. And by ten nights.”Al-Fajr:1-2]

And Allah Almighty designated them for His remembrance:

“That they may witness [i.e., attend] benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known [i.e., specific] days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals (Udhiyyah/Layyah).” [Hajj:27]

These known days are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. And Allah Almighty has chosen that performing righteous deeds during them is more virtuous than any other days. As was narrated in Sahih Bukhari that Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“There are no ten days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days (meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah) They said: Not even striving in the cause of Allah? He said: Not even striving in the cause of Allah, unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back.” [Bukhari]

In these blessed ten days make plenty of remembrance of Allah Almighty, for your Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) commanded you to do so. As is in the Hadith of Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) who said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“There are no days greater with Allah in which the righteous deeds performed in them are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days, so make plenty of Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid.” [Ahmad]

And Abu Hurairah and Ibn Umar used to go to the marketplace in the first ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) and make Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and the people would follow them in making them (the Takbir).

And sacrifice (Layyah) is a virtuous act and thankful endeavour. And an expenditure for the sake of Allah that will be reimbursed. Also, the person sacrificing benefits from its meat. And Allah Almighty’s appreciation for it. For He Almighty is the one who bestowed it and He is the one Who compensates for it and He does not take from it anything:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.” [Al-Hajj: 37]

And whoever intends to offer a sacrifice should refrain from cutting his hair and nails starting from the first night preceding the ten days for what was related in the Hadith narrated by Um Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever wants to offer a sacrifice when Dhul-Hijjah begins, let him not remove anything from his hair or nails.” [Muslim]

We should take advantage of the virtuous and blessed times that Allah Almighty has singled out for His great rituals. Therefore, we magnify them just as our Lord the Exalted magnified them. And we single them out for extra acts of worship. And it is a loss and what a loss if we are neglectful of these ten days and do what Allah Almighty has prohibited. And perhaps these ten days will the last blessed season that we will come across in our lives. Death may strike us at any moment:

“The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to [His] servants.” [Al-Imran: 30]

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as your Lord commanded:

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Ahzab: 56]

O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.

O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.

Dear servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.

All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 24, 1443 AH (June 24, 2022).

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President Tinubu: Stunts of the Salesman




By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz


It was pin drop silence. All heads turned to his side of the hall listening as the man gently, but firmly, made a case for his country to this crème de la crème of the Saudi Arabian economic bureaucracy and business community. He grabbed attention with an off the cuff speech that exuded confidence, authority, assurance and truthfulness. It was a little wonder his audience followed through and nodded all through!

The setting was the Saudi-Nigeria Business Summit and the speaker was President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was a forum held on the sidelines of the recent Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

President Tinubu went into the meeting hall at the JW Marriot Hotel in upscale Riyadh as the President of Nigeria. By the time he picked the microphone he quickly wore the garb of a chief salesman for a product he is excited to market.

It was an effortless exercise in sophisticated arts of marketing and advocacy. It was a presentation from the heart that was as unpretentious as it was unscripted. He spurned out the facts and the figures, reeled out the justifications and tickled the boardroom chiefs where it mattered without appearing weak or pitiable. It was a classic case of economic diplomacy and salesmanship at the highest level.

Since the beginning of his campaign for office, one of the most frequent words on his lips has been “prosperity”. President Tinubu is a prosperous man. His life is tinged with footsteps of prosperity, from the corporate world where he was a successful businessman to the prosperous political career that was capped with his election to the highest office in the land.

It had not always been rosy for him. He had told his story again and again to motivate the younger generation and inspire the country. He had toiled to reach the top. He knew the pains of want and starvation, and the sweetness that comes with economic liberation and prosperity. It is the latter that President Tinubu is desperately working to see that all Nigerians have tested.

He had the lifelong ambition to lead his fatherland. He has fulfilled this ambition. He could, if he chooses, stay back and enjoy the pecks that come with it and pass the time in office. But because the ambition was not a vain one, President Tinubu is up and doing. “I campaigned for it. I begged for the job. I even danced to get elected. There is no excuse!” That is his mindset and the philosophy of leadership for him, and it is for this mindset that he is willing to go to any length to ensure that he bequeath to Nigerians a prosperous country that everyone desires.

It was in his quest for this objective that the President chose to use his time in Riyadh to address the country’s top boardroom chiefs. It turned out to be not just another meeting or a boring address from just another President. It was dazzling interaction that stole the minds of almost everyone in the room, by their own admission.

“We came with high expectations but you have exceeded them,” said the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, who moderated the three-hour session, after the rousing applause that greeted President Tinubu’s address to the Saudi business community. The minister had in his welcome address spoke about how they had followed President Tinubu’s campaign promises and how he started off with the “boldest economic reform agenda in decades” for Nigeria, likening it to happenings in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman of Saudi’s ACWA Power confessed to being “inspired and motivated” by the President promising to see how his company can make foray into Nigeria. In the same vein, Abdulrahman Alfaqiq, the CEO of Saudi oil trading company, SABIC, promised to upscale their business relationship with Nigeria due to the assurances he got from the top. They were just a few of the many who spoke in glowing terms about the President and in optimistic sense of the new business environment being created by President Tinubu for domestic and international investors.

This was not the first time and certainly not the last. In September, the President’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was a potpourri of achievements. He maximally used the time to network with the right people and seek out investments for Nigeria.

It was, in every sense, a bumper harvest for the country as the President came back with a basket full of goodies amounting to billions of dollars in investment pledges. Most of the commitments are in areas dear to the heart of the President and at centre of our quest for development. These include the $3 billion promised by Jindal Steels for iron ore processing to aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialization, Skippersells’ plan to invest $1.6 billion in the power sector by building 2000MW power plants across the country in 4 years, Indorama’s pledge for $8 billion expansion of their petrochemical facilities in Rivers State, a billion

dollars secured by the Defence Industry Corporation Of Nigeria (DICON),
among others.

The President’s last trip to Germany for the G20 Compact with Africa Summit also garnered as much fruits with the signing of the $500 million gas and renewable energy pact with the German government, among others.

As a young man, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was trained as an accountant. He was a very good student, his records show, who finished from the Chigaco State University with flying colours. In the aftermath, he pursued strings of career opportunities in Accounting and Auditing. He left his job on his own volition and ventured into politics. But in his new job President Tinubu is demonstrating that beyond his training in Accountancy, as omo iyaloja he has imbibed not a few skills from his revered mother and notable businesswoman to apply in his bid to market Nigeria to investors and the larger international community.


Abdulaziz is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media. He’s on X @AbdulFagge

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MTN Scholarships: Transforming Lives of Nigerian Students



Abdurrashid Hussain

In the corridors of Bayero University, Kano, two exceptional students from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Abdussalam Ojoshobo Adejo and Obeyemi Adebiyi, are shining examples of the transformative power of the MTN Scholarships.

Initiated by the MTN Foundation, these scholarships, have become a beacon of hope and opportunity for Bling students and those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses across Nigerian universities, polytechnic and colleges of education.

MTN set up the Foundation in 2004, and commenced operation in 2005, with the goal to provides platforms and opportunities for their scholars to connect to their aspirations and realise their potential from which the nation will benefit.

MTN made it a point of duty to have youth development as a pillar for the Foundation, and one of the ways to express the commitment is through scholarship.

The Foundation Executive Secretary, Odunayo Sanya said “Till date we have given about 12,700 scholarships, expended the sum of N3 billion for indigent students who are science-based in the last ten years.”

Telling the success story, Abdussalam Adejo, currently in his fourth year of study, hails from Kogi State. His journey with the MTN scholarship began as a dream nurtured during his secondary school days.

Witnessing a senior student receive the prestigious scholarship at the Federal University Minna, Niger State, fueled Abdussalam’s determination to strive for academic excellence and secure the coveted award.

After completing his second year at the university, Abdussalam navigated the rigorous application process, ensuring he met the required Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) threshold of 3.5.

The competition, as he describes it, is fierce, with an estimated three thousand or more applicants annually from various institutions nationwide.

“Despite the competitiveness, I was lucky to be among the less than five hundred selected applicants,” Abdussalam adds.

Abdussalam’s dedication paid off, earning him a spot among the select few who received the scholarship in 2022.

“The offer comes with a payment of two hundred thousand Naira every semester from the year of award till your final year, and for you to renew that scholarship, it’s not an automatic payment; you have to maintain a certain CGPA of 3.5 above for the subsequent levels,” says Abdussalam.

Additionally, MTN sponsors specific courses, offering opportunities for students to enhance their skill sets without financial constraints.

“Some of those courses that we have taken open my eyes. I participated in an Internet of Things, I also took a course on cybersecurity, I took a course on soft skills development.

Basically, it has really contributed positively to my life, and I am happy to say that there has been a lot of improvement after the scholarship,” Abdussalam emphasizes.

Reflecting on the impact of the scholarship, Abdussalam attests to its life-changing nature. Financial burdens were alleviated, allowing him to focus on his academic pursuits and excel in his studies.

The scholarship served as a catalyst for personal growth, eliminating the need to seek financial support from his parents.

“Once you remove financial challenges from students, fifty percent of his problem has been taken care of,” Abdussalam states.

“It has been 80 to 90 percent motivation to my life both in academic and career growth,” he concludes.

He extends a heartfelt thank you to MTN for bringing smiles to the lives of students through the foundation’s commitment to education.

“I am happy to say that there has been a lot of improvement after the scholarship. I am grateful to MTN for putting smiles on the faces of students through the scholarship from MTN foundation.”

Obeyemi Adebiyi, another beneficiary from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bayero University, shares a similar sentiment.

Originating from Osun State and residing in Jigawa, Obeyemi echoes the narrative of how the MTN scholarship has profoundly influenced his life.

“Actually, having the scholarship and been expose to the opportunities that has come with the scholarship, because for you to even renew your scholarship there is skills you need to obtain which you need to submit result of that skill, may be you take programming course you need to submit the certificate like at least two, which is part of the requirement.” Obeyemi stated.

“Now gaskiya, I am energise after the scholarship, I feel like sky is my limit, because I don’t have that monetary worry that will limit some of the I can do, it has been a life changing experience after the scholarship, I am super charge.” He emphasizes.

The MTN Foundation Scholarships continue to serve as catalysts for academic excellence, breaking barriers and fostering a brighter future for BLIND and STEM students in Nigeria.

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Tinubu and Ganduje Shouldn’t Play with Fire in Kano




By Farooq A. Kperogi

In a predictable, premeditated, and carefully choreographed judicial charade, the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the verdict of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that reversed the electoral triumph of NNPP’s Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State. I sincerely hope this assault on justice isn’t the spark that ignites an inferno in Kano—and in the country.

The signs had been evident since early October that a predetermination had been made that irrespective of the facts, the flawed, preplanned judgment of the election petition tribunal must be preserved at all costs.

For example, on October 6, the Head of the Legal Department of INEC in Kano State by the name of Suleiman Alkali wrote a curious letter stating that INEC, which had declared NNP’s Yusuf as the validly elected winner of the governorship election in Kano, was no longer interested in defending its declaration.

“I have been instructed by the commission headquarters that INEC as an umpire has no reason to appeal any judgment,” he wrote. “Consequently, the National Commission in charge of Legal Services and National Commissioner in charge of Kano zone directed that the appeal be withdrawn and all processes for all appeals should be forwarded to the Kano Office.”

In response to the jolt and outrage that the letter generated, Sam Olumekun, INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, said Alkali wasn’t authorized to write the letter, pointing out that the letter had “since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.” We weren’t told the nature of the “reprimand” because it was a lie.

That was exactly what played out when INEC acted in cahoots with Ahmed Lawan to steal APC’s Bashir Machina’s Yobe North Senatorial District primary win, which the Supreme Court affirmed in a shameless show of what I called judicial banditry.

(Retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammed quoted his colleague’s quotation of my abrasive censure of the Supreme Court in his parting shots at his colleagues even though he and his colleague didn’t give me credit— and slightly misquoted me. I said in a February 6 article titled “Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits” that “Nigeria’s Supreme Court is, without a doubt, a rotten gaggle of useless, purchasable judicial bandits. The highest bidder gets their judgement.” Dattijo used “voter” where I used “rotten.”)

Anyway, on September 5, 2022, an INEC lawyer by the name of Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had filed an affidavit at the Federal High Court to discredit the result of its own election that had declared Machina as the winner of the Yobe North APC senatorial primary election.

In the aftermath of the shock and fury that attended this, Festus Okoye, at the time INEC’s National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee Festus, repudiated Ikpeazu’s affidavit and said, “the Commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking Officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.”

Well, that situation was repeated in Kano in October this year, almost exactly a year later. It seems to be a well-practiced pattern. INEC first flies a kite, sees how high it flies, then crashes it. But the whole point is to prepare the minds of the public for what is being hatched so as to minimize its shock value when it finally materializes.

If the outcome of the Ahmed Lawan and Bashir Machina case is any guide, it means INEC is deeply complicit in Ganduje’s chicanery and plot to steal Yusuf’s governorship. It might also mean that the “judicial bandits” I talked about at the Supreme Court are waiting in the wings to feast on another stolen electoral dinner. I hope I am wrong.

The second indication that this appeal court judgment was a well-rehearsed theater came when the appeal court completed its deliberations on November 6 but deferred its judgment until November 17 and then requested that security be heightened in Kano in anticipation of the publicizing of its judgement. Only people in a dry run for the abortion of justice ask for anticipatory protection from their potential victims.

As I pointed out in my September 23, 2023, column titled “Why the Kano Verdict Can’t Stand,” it is apparent that former Kano State governor and current APC national chairman Abdullahi Ganduje has resolved to damn all consequences and use the federal might at his disposal to wrest the power that his party and his flunkey lost to Rabiu Kwankwaso and his son-in-law in the governorship election.

“APC appears intent to get back through judicial manipulation what it lost through the ballot box,” I wrote. “It’s a higher-order, more sophisticated, and less primitive version of the broad-day electoral heist they perpetrated in 2019 after former Governor Abdullahi ‘Gandollar’ Ganduje lost to the same Abba Yusuf.”

In a defiant disregard for potentially untoward consequences, Ganduje—of course, with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s blessing—has decided to pull all strings to snatch judicial victory from the jaws of electoral defeat.

As I will show shortly, both the election tribunal and the appeal court are not even pretending to be fair in their judgments. They have already been handed a verdict and mandated to fish for evidence to justify it. The verdict, of course, is that NNPP’s Abba Yusuf must go and must be replaced by APC’s Nasiru Gawuna.

In rhetorical studies, we call that finalism, that is, a conclusion in search of evidence. Psychologists call it “motivated reasoning,” that is, tendentious interpretation intentionally designed to produce a predetermined outcome. Philosophers call that armchair hermeneutics, that is, reasoning that ignores the evidence.

The Daily Trust reported Justice Moore A. Adumein as predicating the nullification of Yusuf’s victory on the fact of his not being a member of the NNPP when he was nominated by the party. “As rightfully found, Yusuf Abba was not a member of the NNPP at the time he was purportedly sponsored by his party and he was not qualified to contest the March Governorship Election,” Justice Adumein reportedly said.

Yet, in quashing the election of APC’s House of Representatives member Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso and reinstating NNPP’s Yusuf Umar Datti as the validly elected member to represent Kano’s Kura/Madobi/Garun Malam Federal Constituency seat, the same appeal court said two weeks ago that “the issue of membership of a political party is an internal affair, which no court has jurisdiction on,” according to the LEADERSHIP newspaper.

I had thought that this was settled law. As I wrote in a previous column, “A May 26 Supreme Court ruling also says rival parties have no right to question the validity of the internal decisions made by other parties unless they can prove that they suffered demonstrable harm as a result of the internal decisions another party took. So, the Kano governorship election tribunal’s verdict on this issue will be as dead as a dodo upon appeal.”

The question now is, why is NNPP’s Yusuf being held to a different standard? I get that Kwankwaso and Yusuf didn’t handle their victory well. Instead of being happy, their victory roused destructive vengeance and mean-spiritedness in them. But that’s no reason to steal their legitimately earned victory.

I am certain that NNPP will take this case to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court is guided by its precedents, which is never guaranteed, I have no doubt that it will invalidate the judgements of the lower courts.

But this is clearly not a legal issue. It’s a battle for political supremacy in Kano between Ganduje and Kwankwaso in which Ganduje is deploying the courts as cudgels to fustigate Kwankwaso.

My advice for President Tinubu is to be very watchful because this is really treacherous territory. Righteous anger over obvious injustice—on top of ongoing existential torment in the country—can spark violence whose consequence we can’t predict.

Farooq A. Kperogi is a Professor of journalism and emerging media at Kennesaw State University, U.S.A

This article was first published on his Facebook page. 

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