New twist in Kano guber appeal case as INEC disowns letter of withdrawal by its Legal Officer

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*Photo: Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC Chairman *

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has denied claims of either withdrawing from or abandoning the appeal process of the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal judgment.

The denial was issued on Saturday.

The Tribunal on 20 September 2023 sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, who was the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate in the March 18 election and declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, as the winner.

In a statement on Saturday by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, INEC stressed its position after a letter by its state legal officer which it described as “not authorised”.

According to the commission, the correspondence has since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.

“We wish to state categorically that where litigants join INEC in a case, the Commission is under obligation to respond accordingly.

“We have therefore instructed our lawyers to proceed in line with extant policy of the Commission. The policy has not changed, ” Olumekun said in the statement.

Read the full statement below:

THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITION CASE IN KANO STATE

The attention of the Commission has been drawn to media reports based on a letter written by the Legal Officer of our Kano State office indicating that the Commission had withdrawn from the appeal process in the ongoing Kano Governorship election petition case.

We wish to state categorically that the letter was not authorised. It has since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.

The public is therefore advised to discountenance the insinuation that the Commission has withdrawn from the case or even worse abandoned the appeal.

We wish to state categorically that where litigants join INEC in a case, the Commission is under obligation to respond accordingly. We have therefore instructed our lawyers to proceed in line with extant policy of the Commission. The policy has not changed.

Sam Olumekun mni
National Commissioner & Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee
Saturday 7th October 2023

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