Kano Judge denies nullifying Abia Governorship election

Justice Mohammed Nasir-Yunusa

A Federal High Court denied nullifying the candidature of the Abia  Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti.

The court, however, said it nullified the election of  the candidates for  Kano Labour Party(LP) that  contested during the 2023 General Election and.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a  plaintiff, Mr Ibrahim Haruna-Ibrahim, had  filed an application seeking the court to revoke and set aside the certificate of return issued to all LP candidates declared winner in Kano and the 35 states of the Federation including the FCT Abuja.

NAN reports that the respondents in the suit are: Labour Party and Independent National Electoral Commission.

Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa said the candidates who participated in the 2023 general election in Abia were not parties before his court.

“This court lacks jurisdiction to make an order for the issuance of certificate of return.

“They are at liberty to seek redress in the appropriate Division of the court” he said

He said INEC was bound to insist receiving the registered members of the first respondent and that of other political parties 30 days before primary election in compliance with section 77(3) of the electoral act 2022.

The section states that a party that has not complied with the section 77(2)(3) of the electoral act 2022 cannot be declared winner of the election.

The court declared the primary election of LP in Kano as null and void” Nasir-Yunusa said.

Strangely, a certified true copy of a delivery letter to INEC dated April 25th, 2022 has emerged online validating claims that there is evidence that Labour Party had actually submitted its membership register.

Meanwhile Premium Times reports that Mohammed Yunusa, who stood trial for bribery charges for three years, was reinstated to his position after serving almost five years suspension.

The National Judicial Council (NJC), in July 2016, found Mr Yunusa culpable of acts of alleged misconduct different from the bribery allegation that was later levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In line with its adopted procedure, the NJC placed Mr Yunusa, then a serving judge at the Enugu Division of the Federal High Court, on suspension pending the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the judge’s compulsory retirement.

But since 2016, President Buhari refused to act on the NJC’s recommendation, creating a window for the judge to return to the NJC for a review of his case last year.

While the bribery case later filed against him by the EFCC was pending at the Lagos State High Court, the NJC in December 2020, issued a report clearing Mr Yunusa of the allegations of misconduct for which he was earlier suspended in 2020.