Kano State Governor Abba Yusuf was restored by the Supreme Court on Friday, as the valid winner of the governorship election held on March 18, 2023.
The five-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Inyang Okoro delivered the unanimous verdict in Abuja.
Okoro-led ruling reversed the verdict of the appellate court which declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner.
In delivering the judgment, Justice Okoro gave two reasons that favoured Governor Yusuf, the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
Wrong deductions of votes
In the lead judgement, Okoro delivered, held that the two lower courts – Kano State Election Petitions Tribunal and Court of Appeal wrongly deducted valid votes that were credited to Governor Yusuf by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
It held that the 165,663 votes were removed from Yusuf and the NNPP on the premise that the ballot papers were not signed, stamped, or dated, and were valid.
The court held that contrary to the position of the lower courts, a total of 146, 292 of the ballot papers were confirmed to have been signed and stamped, only that they did not contain any date.
It held that by section 63(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, ballot papers, that carried the official mark and was duly issued by INEC, were not totally invalid.
Sponsorship as domestic affairs
Also, in the ruling, Justice Okoro-led panel held that the issue of sponsorship of a candidate in an election was within the domestic affairs of a political party.
It held that Yusuf won the governorship election by a majority of lawful votes and was duly nominated by his political party.