In the ruling delivered through Zoom, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was directed to remove the certificate of return it had given to Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). The three-person panel was led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay.
The tribunal additionally requested that a certificate of return be given to Gawuna by the election commission. The tribunal stated that a total of 165,663 ballot papers from the governor’s votes were not stamped and ruled illegitimate as the reason Yusuf was dismissed.
Then, it declared 165,663 of Yusuf’s votes to be illegitimate, leading to the declaration of Gawuna as the election’s victor in March.
After both parties’ attorneys presented their final arguments on behalf of their clients on August 21, the decision was made some weeks later.
Remember that according to INEC, the NNPP received 1,019,602 votes, defeating the APC and Gawuna, who received 890,705 votes. Thus, the NNPP candidate prevailed with a 128,897 vote lead.
The APC, however, submitted an appeal to the tribunal challenging the results announced by the election board.
The INEC proclaimed Yusuf, who ran on the NNPP platform, the winner of the election.
The petition contesting the eligibility of Governor Yusuf’s candidacy was dismissed by the tribunal in the meanwhile by the APC and its candidate, Gawuana.
According to the court, the issue of candidacy is a party internal concern and does not, let alone interfere with, the plaintiffs’ case.
APC and Gawuna had petitioned the tribunal, arguing that Yusuf was ineligible to run since he was neither a full member of the NNPP nor on its register at the time of his nomination.
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