New Telegraph

Kano Tribunal: CSOs Raise Alarm Over Judgment, Allege Compromise

…Warn, trend of injustice could trigger coup

A coalition of seven Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), on Monday, took a swipe at the recent ruling of the Governorship Election Tribunal in Kano State, alleging that the tribunal may have been compromised to arrive at the controversial judgement

The tribunal which delivered its judgement via Zoom last week, sacked the Governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Nasir Yusuf Gawuna as the duly elected governor of the state.

Executive Director, Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Dr Gabriel Nwambu, who addressed the media on behalf of the coalition, faulted the tribunal on what he described as a miscarriage of justice and alerted Nigerians on the inherent dangers of allowing the judgement to stand.

Nwambu said that members of the coalition were among several organisations accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor the Kano State Governorship and States Assembly Elections of 18th March, 2023. According to him, the coalition is dissatisfied with the judgement because it runs contrary to what happened when they monitored the election across the 44 Local Government Government Areas of Kano State.
Apparently alleging foul play, Nwambu recalled that long before the judgement, a red flag was raised on the tribunal, wherein Justice Flora Azinge, one of the justices of the tribunal, raised alarm over an attempt by some persons to offer N10 million bribe to one of her staff with the intension to subvert justice in the course of the proceedings of the tribunal.
Nwambu argued that the alleged attempt to bribe the justices implied that there was a plot to subvert justice and frustrate the popular will of the electorate in Kano state.

In a statement entitled: ‘ BEFORE THEY “SACRIFICE JUSTICE ” Nwambu stressed that: the election they monitored was like a revolution in which the people of Kano state voted overwhelmingly for the NNPP without fear or favour.

“We were dismayed and shocked at the Tribunal’s ruling concerning the disqualification of the Governor of Kano state as member of the NNPP. This matter is well known to all and sundry as a pre-election matter in which the tribunal had no jurisdiction and besides because it is a pre-election matter, the matter has been overtaken by events.

“Again, the nullification of over one hundred thousand valid votes which was an integral part of the power exercised by the electorates as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended has never been seen before in the history of Nigeria.

“It thus appears to us that there is a grand plan to truncate justice as seen in Kano state,” he said.

Nwambu said that the declaration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the NNPP candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf won the 18th March 2023 Governorship Election in Kano State is consistent with the report of the various groups that monitored the election.

“We wish to advise the political elite in Kano state to sheathe their swords and allow the people’s votes to count. Kano state is a cosmopolitan City in Nigeria, therefore igniting issues capable of causing the breakdown of law and order would not be in the interest of the Nigerian nation.

“We want to warn that the spate of coup d’etat in Africa is spreading very fast. But often times our political elites are more interested in their personal gains than the unity and coexistence of the Nigerian nation. The present situation in Kano could deteriorate even further if not treated with utmost caution and urgency,” he said.

Head of Mission Pan African Women Projects, Dr Eno Udensi who also addressed the media on the issue, said her organisation received Save Our Soul ( SOS) messages about the situation in Kano and pleaded with the First Lady, Sen Oluremi Tinubu to prevail on her husband to intervene and allow justice prevail. She said the political elite and the judiciary must ensure that justice prevailed in Kano as women and children would be adversely affected should the matter snowball into a state of anarchy and chaos.

Udensi also made a special appeal to the Federal Government to ensure that the controversies trailing the Kano governorship election were resolved in line with the rule of law.

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