‘It’s clerical error,’ Appeal Court responds to Kano’s controversial CTC judgment

THE Court of Appeal has responded to the controversies trailing the recently released Certified True Copy (CTC) of its ruling on the March 2023 Kano governorship election.

The appellate court in Abuja upheld the Kano State governorship Election Petitions tribunal’s decision to remove Abba Yusuf, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate and incumbent governor, from office.

The certified authentic copy of the ruling contradicted the decision to uphold the tribunal’s ruling and sack the governor.

Speaking on the controversy, the chief registrar of the Court of Appeal, Umar Bangari, claimed that the alleged disparity was a clerical error that had no bearing on the court’s ruling.

Bangari stated that the Court of Appeals Handbook, Order 23, Rule 4 gives the court the authority to fix any clerical error that it or any of the parties to the case discovers.

Bangari promised to correct the clerical error as soon as the parties to the case file official applications to that effect. 

“What happened in the part of the judgment is just a mere clerical error that ought not to draw any issue. The court is empowered to correct such clerical error and would be done as appropriate,” the chief registrar stated.

The ICIR reports that confusion broke out on Tuesday, November 21, over the released Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Appeal Court judgment on the Kano state governorship election as a portion of the report affirmed the victory of Abba Yusuf as the duly elected governor.

On page 67 of the CTC, sighted by The ICIR on Tuesday, November 21, and signed by the Registrar, Jameel Ibrahim Umar, the court upheld Yusuf’s victory.

The ICIR reported that the Court of Appeal in Abuja sacked Yusuf as Kano state governor, affirming the state’s governorship election petitions tribunal ruling.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, November 17, a three-member panel of the appellate court held that the NNPP breached the Constitution by sponsoring Yusuf, who was not a party member.

The Appeal Court ruled that the tribunal acted in the public interest when it permitted the APC to tender papers during the trial since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had given the APC access to materials piecemeal to undermine the petitioner’s claim.

The court’s three-man bench ruled that each political party must keep track of its voter registration.

The court further stated that Abba’s NNPP membership is not registered.

“All issues in this appeal are dismissed, and the judgment of the tribunal is affirmed,” the court stated.

Speaking on the controversy surrounding the ruling in the CTC on Tuesday night, attorney general and commissioner for justice of Kano State Haruna Dederi stated that the ruling on page 67 of the certified copy of the judgment made it evident that the tribunal’s decision to dismiss the governor was overturned.

Dederi maintained that written evidence confirmed Yusuf as the rightful governor of the state, despite what the judges read aloud to the public in the courtroom on November 17.

“The evidence contained on page 67 of the copy of the Appeal Court judgment released on Tuesday and signed by registrar Jameel Ibrahim Umar, the appellate court upheld the victory of Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party NNPP as duly elected Governor of Kano,” he said.

According to him, contrary to what the judges read to the public in the courtroom on November 17, the written evidence has vindicated Yusuf as the legitimate governor of Kano.

On page 67 of the CTC sighted, the panel headed by Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein, in its conclusion, said, “I will conclude by stating that the live issues in this appeal are hereby resolved in favour of the 1st respondent and against the appellant.” 

“In the circumstances, I resolve all the issues in favour of the appellant and against the 1st respondent. Therefore, I find no merit in this appeal, which is liable to be and is hereby dismissed.

“The sum of one million naira was awarded as costs in favour of the appellant and against the 1st respondent.

In this case, Governor Yusuf is the appellant, while the APC is the first respondent. The second and third respondents are the NNPP and INEC.






     

     

    The first ruling, which settled the matter in favour of the APC, indicated that the tribunal’s decision was upheld, contrary to the remaining conclusions of the judge, which stated that the tribunal’s decision to remove Yusuf had been overturned and his mandate restored. 

    Meanwhile, before the appellate court’s latest position, there were protests in some parts of Kano, the state capital on Wednesday evening over the confusion caused by the CTC.

    The protesters took to the streets, burning tyres and chanting in solidarity with Yusuf.

    Although the Police tried to disperse the crowd, some of the protesters remained adamant in the demand for justice.

    A reporter with the ICIR
    A Journalist with a niche for quality and a promoter of good governance

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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