Many judiciary events have unfolded in the history of Nigerian democracy and the legal battles that succeed elections, the development from the judgment delivered by the Appeal Court on the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is, shamefully, an exceptional one.
Remarkably, it could be recalled that the Tribunal hearing the Kano State post-governorship election case had sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP).
The Tribunal took its decision after deducting 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total as invalid votes, stating that the affected ballot papers were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid. It therefore declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna as the duly elected Governor of Kano State.
Declaring judgment on the Appellate case file before it by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, the Court of Appeal upheld the Tribunal judgment but the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment suggested the court might have been compromised or an attempt to be compromised was averted at a stage.
However, a source has claimed that the Court of Appeal has asked lawyers to return copies of the Kano governorship election ruling (CTC) for correction. The court will correct the obvious errors in the released judgment and stand by its Friday pronouncement that Nasir Gawuna is the legitimate winner of the election, but we will look into three areas where the shameful conflict might have emanated from.
One of the parties in the case might have either successfully, or in a failed attempt bided to buy the judgment from the Lord Justices who sat over the appeal.
Financial Inducement has been pinpointed over ages, and it is very hard to discard, the proximity of being the source of the judicial conflict in Kano, where delivered judgment on the oral note and the hard copy of the Certified True Copy (CTC) given to the lawyers are contrary to each other.
It is, however, important to note that the compromisation might not be limited to the presiding Justices as court staff members handle much of the preparation of the CTC.
"Authority from Above" works wonder when it comes to judicial issues and intervention than financial Inducement could do. This has been alleged and, in most cases proven right by subsequent judgment in the country's judicial system.
Has anyone of a higher administrative cadre, friend, relative, or indispensable ally of one of the parties in the case shown interest along the way to the deliverance of this judgment? The Lord Justices and judiciary workers involved in the preparation of the judgment and the CTC could have the best response to this.
The most interesting part of this event is that the Authority from Above might have influenced the judgment in favour or against injustice which might as the two marred the conflict in the courtroom judgment and the CTC given to the lawyers.
There was a time in Nigeria when a Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was returned to the Tribunal level, through a judgment delivered by an Appellate Court which happened to be the final stage for the Governorship Election Petition case, then.
It was later discovered that the decision was a technical attempt to buy more time for the incumbent Governor [then] who had seen every sign that the case would lead to his removal.
Unfortunately, the case (Rauf Aregbesola vs Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State) spanned between 2007 and November 26th, 2010 when the tenure of the governor in the battle was to end in six months.
How possible is it that the discrepancy in the Kano Appeal Court Judgment is not a technical attempt to prepare the flexible ground for a party in the case to have a soft landing at the Supreme Court?
Have we even considered if the Supreme Court has the power to return the case to the Court of Appeal for a fresh hearing just like it happened in the case of Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in 2007?
Could the discrepancy be a technical itch deliberately put in place by the Appellate Court to push responsibility on the Supreme Court to take the final decision, with a task of looking deeply into the case because of the conflict at the Appellate level?
Recently, an Appellate Court Judgment was delivered, and it was deeply analyzed to be inconclusive and left too open for the Supreme Court to take the final decision because the Lord Justices at the Appeal Court were alleged to be maintaining balance in the case. Considerably, the first two factors cited above might have conflicted with the Lord Justices, and they wanted to satisfy the two sources.
Interestingly, one of the issues that will be decided by the Supreme Court is that a court has the legal right to recall its judgment and make corrections to it after it has been delivered.
Is the conflict enough to discard the Appeal Court judgment by the Supreme Court, and if not, is it CTC of the judgment, courtroom judgment, or the two that will be examined by the Supreme Court?
Above all, in this case, does the Supreme Court have the legal right to look away from the conflict in the Appeal Court judgment and base its judgment on the Tribunal judgment?
However, while some people lament the judiciary, they insist that the CTC declared that Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf won the election, and not APC's Gawuna. Unfortunately, if Govern Abba Kabir Yusuf fails to file an appellate case at the Supreme Court within the time frame permitted by law, it won't be funny that Gawuna would be sworn in and legally recognized by the law. Heaven will not fall because of this, knowing fully well that a higher court is available to set clarity on such an event. Abba Kabir Yusuf's failure to appeal means he has accepted defeat.
Above all, prayers for the Supreme Court Justices who will hear this case once it is filed.
Tag: Kano judgment CTC kano news kano governor
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 11/22/2023 6:41:16 PM