Kano: Ex-judiciary officers ask apex court to save judiciary from embarrassment

Ahead the Supreme Court hearing, the Transparent Justice Initiative (TJI), a group of retired judicial personnel, has challenged the apex Court to affirm what it termed ‘popular victory’ of Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf and save the judiciary from further embarrassment.

It said the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and it should reflect so in its verdicts, especially on election matters.

“Worried by the Appeal Court verdicts and subsequent erroneous impressions in the public domain, as a group of retired personnel, we want to reassure Nigerians that the Supreme Court as the final arbiter and the last resort for dispute resolution will ensure justice prevailed.”

The appeal court sitting in Abuja had upheld the ruling of the tribunal that sacked Governor Yusuf and declared Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 18 election.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Mr. Stanley Kingsley, the group expressed confidence in the Supreme Court.

“Over the years, it has demonstrated the ability to protect rule of law, ensure supremacy of law and safeguards rights of individuals. And we have no doubts in our minds that the Supreme Court will critically study the judgment of the tribunal and Appeal Court in order to ensure that voices and rights of the people which are of utmost importance and are guaranteed as stipulated in our constitution electoral act.”

It noted that it would amount to a case of “miscarriage of justice” for the court to remove a popularly elected candidate.

“We saw how on March 18, 2023, people came out a masse and voted for Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf with a total of 1,019,602 votes and a margin of 128,897 votes between him and the second place, APC candidate.

The panel upheld the verdict of the tribunal led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan Osadebay that sacked Yusuf on September 20, 2023. The lower court had declared 165,663 votes of Yusuf, who contested under the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) invalid on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“We have carefully read the judgement and discovered that this is the first time in the history that a tribunal would annul an election over non-signing of the back of ballot papers and this must be avoided in future.

 “We believe and have full confidence that the Supreme Court will do the needful and ensure the mandate of the Kano people who voted. Everywhere in the world, the judiciary is widely respected and relied upon for justice and we strongly believe it will be the same afterwards.

The TJI, therefore, urged Nigerians not to lose confidence in the judiciary as it remains a dependable institution that strengthens democracy.

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