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Contrary to misconception, Appeal Court upheld Kano Governor’s Election – Falana

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has said that contrary to the general impression that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, nullified the election of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State, the majority judgement of the Court upheld his appeal and granted all the reliefs sought by the governor.

KANO FOCUS reports that Falana revealed this on Tuesday night while featuring on Arise News Primetime,

Falana said he was surprised when he read a copy of the judgement, to see that the majority judgement set aside the judgement of the lower tribunal and awarded cost in favour of the governor.

‘’You will be surprised if I show you the judgement. To my utter dismay the majority judgement of the Court of Appeal in Kano upheld the Appeal, set aside the judgement of the lower court and awarded cost in favour of the governor that was removed by the lower Tribunal. There are contradictions which the court can no longer explain, but which is likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court.

‘’Contrary to the impression that has been given out there, the majority judgement of the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the judgement of the lower court was wrong, and has set it aside in writing, upheld the Appeal and granted all the reliefs sought by Governor Abba. So, you ask yourself, what’s going on?’’

According to Falana, no serious democracy allows the court to determine the winner of elections, adding that Nigeria must put an end to it.

He also advocated for a mechanism to be put in place to deal with electoral offenders no matter how highly placed.

‘’We must go back to Justice Uwais Electoral Committee recommendations, which were adopted by the 2014 National Conference, adopted by Lemu Committee, adopted by the Ken Nnamani Electoral Reform Committee, so that we can begin to hold elections that will reflect the will of the people.

‘’We must not applaud the court when we are favoured, we must have a common standard whereby the wishes of the people must be respected. You cannot say you want to punish somebody for the errors of INEC electoral officials as it was the case in Kano. That is almost scandalous.

He said Nigeria is the only country in the world that records the highest number of election petitions, warning that unless ‘we put in place an electoral system that will punish those that violate the law with impunity, the wishes of the electorates will be trampled upon.

On why INEC get away with wrong doings, Falana said: ‘’The law requires judges to punish on the basis of evidence led before them those who can be said to have manipulated the electoral system or who subverted the electoral system and make a mockery of the wishes of the people.

‘’In those days, judges recommended sanctions for electoral offenders. These days we are only busy with who won the election and who did not win the election, while those that caused the problem go scot-free’’.

According to the fiery lawyer, the Attorneys General appointed by some of the riggers of the elections quietly withdrew cases by filling nolle prosequi applications in court against those arrested for electoral offences.

He said: ‘’That was why the Uwais Committee recommended that we should have an Independent Electoral Offences Commission to deal with those who breach the provisions of electoral law. But it has been rejected over the years; instead, they are saying INEC shall prosecute electoral offenders.”

‘’But we must unbundle IENC to enable it to concentrate on conducting elections by having an electoral offences commission. Also, political Party Regulation.”

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Hajj 2024: Kano asks NAHCON to reverse BTA issuance via card

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Director General of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Lamin Rabi’u Danbappa has described as unjustified, the decision of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to pay part of the Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, for this year’s Hajj via payment card.

KANO FOCUS reports that the DG made the call at a meeting to discuss the issue pertaining the BTA at he board’s headquarters on Thursday.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had issues a directive to state pilgrims boards pilgrims to pay $200 BTA in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible by the pilgrims via card in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement by the board’s spokesman, Suleman Abdullahi Dederi, Danbappa pointed out that “many pilgrims come from rural areas and may not be familiar with using cards to access their funds in Saudi Arabia.”

Danbappa therefore called on the NAHCON to reconsider this decision, noting that “it imposes additional hardships on the pilgrims, who are already facing challenges due to the high Hajj fare this year.

“The Director General emphasized that requiring pilgrims to use cards in Saudi Arabia could lead to numerous problems during the Hajj exercises.

“He stressed that the BTA is intended to assist pilgrims and should not be a cause of confusion or difficulty,” the statement reads in part.

He urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the BTA is provided in a manner that genuinely assists the pilgrims, without complicating their experience.

The statement added that the Chairman Board of Directors of the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan, led the meeting to discuss the issue pertaining to the BTA.

Lawan stated that the board had recently received a directive from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria regarding the BTA process.

According to the directive, pilgrims will receive only $200 in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible via card in Saudi Arabia.

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APC Chairmanship: Search For Ganduje’s Replacement Begins

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Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

There are indications that the Presidency may have given the green light for stakeholders to begin the search for a replacement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, LEADERSHIP gathered.

KANO FOCUS gathered that the Villa, which has been silent over Ganduje’s recent political travail, is said to have “commissioned” APC governors from the North Central geo-political zone to begin a search for a new chairman from the region as originally planned by the party.

A top party source told LEADERSHIP Newspaper that besides the North Central zone producing the next chairman, the Villa might be open to allowing the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) camp within the party to produce Ganduje’s replacement as part of appeasement moves.

It was further learnt that those opposed to Ganduje’s continued stay, including a serving senator who was former governor of a South South state, listed his perceived handling of the Edo and Ondo primaries as well as the unfolding drama surrounding the probe into his tenure as Kano State governor.

Ganduje’s woes, it was also gathered, is being compounded by an alleged plan for New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate in 2023, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to return to the APC, a claim confirmed to LEADERSHIP Friday by a former commissioner and APC chieftain in Kano State, Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso.

Also, the agitation by APC stakeholders in the North Central zone for the return of the chairmanship position to their zone has not helped Ganduje’s case. The immediate past governor of Kano State is from the North West zone.

The APC chairman has been locked in an intriguing legal battle in Kano State over moves to suspend him in his ward by some persons claiming to be APC executives.

They hinged their suspension on the probe into Ganduje’s administration over alleged financial misappropriation by Governor Abba Yusuf.

While Ganduje blames the NNPP-led administration in the state for his travails, the APC leadership, at federal and state levels, has since distanced themselves from the suspension moves.

However, the embattled chairman is fighting back and battling to salvage his job. Party sources told LEADERSHIP Friday that he had reached out to some governors to help him stave off those angling to remove him from office.

It was gathered that he recently pleaded with a governor from a North Central State to urge an aggrieved aspirant to withdraw his suit seeking to stop him from parading himself as chairman.

A serving senator and former national chairmanship aspirant is said to have also been recruited to ensure the case is dropped.

KANO FOCUS recalls that an APC chairmanship aspirant in 2022, Muhammad Etsu, is seeking a legal injunction to stop Ganduje from parading himself as national chairman.

He had earlier argued for the national chairmanship seat to return to the North Central zone.

In the build-up to the 2022 national convention, the APC had zoned the position to the North Central which saw Senator Abdullahi Adamu emerge as national chairman.

He resigned in 2023 paving the way for Ganduje, who hails from North West, to become chairman.

However, the party source told LEADERSHIP Friday that another North Central governor is backing the move to remove Ganduje.

The governor, according to a party source, is seeking Ganduje’s removal because he appears to have taken sides with the governor’s political opponent (a top government official) in the state.

Attempts to get Ganduje’s reaction on the issues were not successful as calls and messages to his media handlers were not responded to.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the APC-led presidency adopted the silence option over Ganduje’s ordeal, in light of unfolding political intrigues in the North ahead of the 2027 presidential election.

With the frayed political romance between President Bola Tinubu and some of his allies in the region, it might “be convenient to forge new alliances which might involve making tough decisions,” a source said.

The source, who neither confirmed nor denied the Kwankwaso angle, however said the president would need to firm his base in the region, having seemingly fallen out with some politicians, like former Kaduna governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

“So he might be firmer to ask himself what political value the embattled chairman has to him ahead of 2027. Kano State is a strategic state that any incumbent or presidential candidate would need to have on his side,” the party chieftain said.

Another APC chieftain, who also pleaded not to be named, said Tinubu is keeping quiet on the issues about Ganduje because he single handedly brought him to the position.

The source said: “Unlike in the case of Adams Oshimhole who was elected at a national convention and was not the then President Muhammadu Buhari candidate, hence he was allowed to sink, Ganduje is more or less an appointee of the president and, though the quietness, he is enjoying the protection of Villa.

“Unlike Buhari, Tinubu could be blunt to tell Ganduje to go if he is not satisfied with his leadership as the APC chairman. Also, in the case of Oshiomhole, the APC governors were not on his side but it seems the governors are with Ganduje or they simply are not interested in what is happening.”

A former APC national vice chairman, North-west, Salihu Lukman, said the only strong qualification of Ganduje as the party’s chairman is his close relationship with the president.

Source: Leadership Newspaper.

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Qatar Foundation to award scholarship to BUK indigent students

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Qatar Charity Foundation, a humanitarian and development non-governmental organization, has planned to award scholarship to indigent students of Bayero University, Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Country Director of Qatar Foundation, Hamdi Abdou made this pledge when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas on Thursday.

He said the visit was to reignite the relationship between the foundation and BUK, with a view to supporting the University in the area of providing scholarship to the indigent students.

He reiterated the foundation’s commitment to providing boreholes to address the challenges of water shortage.

The Country Director explained that last year, the foundation dug 1500 boreholes across 15 states in Nigeria; constructed 400 mosques and supported 4500 orphans with N50,000 monthly, out of which 1200 of them were from Kano State.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas expressed happiness with the visit and expressed the University’s commitment to strengthen its relationship with the Qatar Charity Foundation.

He said the University’s doors are open to assist the Foundation with research to solve some challenges related to its activities.

At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed that a formal memorandum of understanding would formally be signed to fast track the relationship.

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