• Saturday, December 09, 2023
businessday logo


Tribunal judgement was predetermined — Kano govt

…accuses Ganduje of allocating lands to cronies

The Kano State government has said that last week’s judgment nullifying the victory of Governor Abba Yusuf was predetermined by the election petition tribunal before it was delivered.

Led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, the three-man panel had declared Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner after deducting 165,663 votes from Governor Yusuf, candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) candidate.

But at a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, Sanusi Bature, the press secretary to the Kano governor, and Ladipo Johnson, the national auditor of the NNPP, said that several chieftains and members of the APC had been jubilating days before the judgment was delivered.

Read also: Election Tribunal: Kano state to petition judge over ‘red cap’ comments

Bature dispelled reports that the state was not safe for the members of the tribunal to sit, which warranted their judgment via Zoom.

According to him, “Two days to the judgment, the APC stakeholders were seen in different places in the state jubilating about their victory at the tribunal, how is that possible if they didn’t know what the outcome of the judgment will be?

“When a commissioner made an unguarded statement some days to the tribunal judgment, the commissioner was immediately sacked by the governor; that should give the tribunal confidence that the government would not tolerate anybody harassing the tribunal.

“Moreover, they sat in the state all through the hearing without harassment, why is it that it was when judgment would be delivered that they suddenly realised the state was not safe?”.

Read also: NNPP, APC at loggerheads over tribunal judgment sacking Kano governor

Speaking further, he said the demolition of buildings across the state by Yusuf’s administration was necessary because Abdullahi Ganduje’s administration sold the state lands, institutions and infrastructure to cronies at cheap rate against public interest.

“On the demolition, the governor mentioned it during the campaign period; it was in the blueprint that if he is elected, he would reclaim all the public properties and lands that are stolen, or given out to private individuals illegally, and on that basis the Kano people decided to vote for him.

“It is a promise that he must fulfil; because it is the yearning of the people of Kano State and reclaiming the master plan is very important for a mega city like Kano, for the people and provision of essential infrastructure and services like hospitals and schools.

“Some of the properties were public schools, hospitals and other facilities that were converted and sold by the last administration at a very cheap rate to friends, family members and cronies.

“Some of the people who bought the properties came forward to testify and gave us information on the public properties that were sold to them by the Ganduje administration”, Bature stressed.

Also speaking, Johnson condemned reports credited to the tribunal that supporters of Governor Yusuf and members of the NNPP were violent and engaged in acts of banditry and terrorism.

Read also:  Tribunal verdict: Kano implements 24-hour curfew to maintain law and order

He described as indecorous and libelous language used by the panel, noting that such language was used to tarnish the image of NNPP and its members. He said that the NNPP would consider all options, including petitioning the National Judicial Commission (NJC) over the utterances of the judges and appeal the judgment.

“Justice Benson Anya had alleged that instead of some Kano politicians to be allowed to use banditry and violence to abort democracy in Kano State, justice will be used to stop them from destroying democracy in Kano and upward.

“Of course, that indecorous, libelous and outright condemnable comments credited to the panel and, especially those portions where Justice Anya went beyond judiciary bounds of immunity and acted as if he is an interested party in the matter by casting aspersions on the leadership and members of the NNPP are spurious, regrettable, uncouth based on sentiments”, Johnson said.