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Supreme Court reserves judgment in Kano governorship legal battle.

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After an intense legal battle lasting six hours, the Supreme Court in Abuja, on Thursday, withheld its decision in the Kano State Governorship legal dispute. The focal point of the conflict involved the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), along with their respective governorship candidates, Kabir Yusuf and Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna.

During Thursday’s proceedings, Chief Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), urged the Supreme Court to overturn the decisions of both the Appeal Court and the Tribunal. Olanipekun specifically implored the five-member panel of the Apex Court, led by Justice John Inyang Okoro, to determine whether the guidelines set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could serve as grounds for invalidating the election victory of a candidate who secured a margin exceeding 100,000 votes.

The senior lawyer contended that it was unprecedented in electoral jurisprudence for an election to be annulled based on the absence of signatures or stamps on the back of ballot papers. He argued that INEC guidelines did not anticipate the courts nullifying an election due to INEC’s alleged failure to stamp the back of ballot papers.

The legal team for the governor asserted that their client’s affiliation with the NNPP was a pre-election matter, and the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction to entertain it. Olanipekun expressed dissatisfaction with the judgments of the lower courts and urged the Supreme Court to overturn them.

In a counter-argument, Chief Akin Olujimi, counsel for the APC, maintained that the Electoral Act required INEC presiding officers to sign the back of ballot papers after the conclusion of the election for them to be considered legal. Olujimi stated that the tribunal’s findings revealed that the ballot papers were not signed or dated, leading to the cancellation of the election where these ballots were used.

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Regarding party membership, Olujimi argued that the NNPP membership register did not list Abba Yusuf’s name. INEC’s counsel, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, supported Olanipekun’s arguments, asserting that the decisions of the lower courts were flawed.

After hearing arguments from all parties, Justice Okoro reserved judgment on the governor’s appeal. The tribunal had previously nullified Yusuf’s election in September, citing over 160,000 invalid votes due to missing signatures and stamps on the ballot papers. The APC had contested the election outcome, alleging electoral malpractice, and the Court of Appeal later dismissed the NNPP candidate’s appeal against the tribunal’s judgment, affirming the APC candidate as the winner of the governorship poll held on March 18.

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‘Some people have turned into monitoring spirits because of Tinubu’ – Joe Igbokwe

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Joe Igbokwe, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, raised concerns on Saturday about the constant monitoring of President Bola Tinubu. Igbokwe claimed that some individuals have resorted to witchcraft and “monitoring spirits” to keep an eye on Tinubu.

He explained that these individuals are observing Tinubu closely to catch any mistakes or mishaps, wherever he goes. Posting on his Facebook page, Igbokwe predicted that this scrutiny will persist for the next eight years.

He wrote: “Some people have turned to monitoring spirits. They follow PBAT anywhere he goes to see if he will make mistakes, if he will fall down, or if he will be received very well in any country he goes to. This is witchcraft and they will do this for 8 years. Mark this.”

Tinubu had a slip during the Democracy Day celebration at Eagles Square on June 12. Addressing the incident later at a Democracy Day dinner at the Presidential Villa, the President commented: “Early this morning, I had a swagger and it’s on social media. They’re confused about whether I was doing bugger or babariga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy. Why doing dobale on the day? I’m a traditional Yoruba boy. I did my dobale.”

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‘We’re still owed salaries in Abia State University’ – ASUU

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The Abia State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has claimed that many of its members did not receive their April and May salaries, and those who were paid had deductions from their salaries. ASUU Chairperson Chidi Mbah and Secretary Victor Obisike stated that despite announcements from the Abia government and social media reports indicating that salaries had been settled, only a few staff members with accounts at commercial banks received their April salaries, and even fewer received their May salaries.

The ASUU leaders highlighted that this inconsistency in salary payments and deductions has caused financial difficulties, anxiety, and uncertainty among the affected staff. They noted that staff members who did receive their April or May salaries experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000.

This irregular payment system has made it difficult for the unions within the university to determine the status of their check-off dues, which are usually deducted at the source. Additionally, ASUU emphasized that 11 months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid, despite repeated assurances from the government.

ASUU expressed its support for Governor Alex Otti’s efforts to improve Abia State University but urged government officials to avoid politicizing the salary payment issue. They appealed to the state government to promptly address the concerns raised and ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid in full to alleviate the financial hardships faced by the university staff.

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Sanusi: Ado Bayero was never Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf’s spokesman

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Sanusi Bature, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, has asserted that Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. According to Bature, former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Bayero as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city.

During an appearance on Arise Television, Bature explained that Ganduje’s appointment of Bayero as emir was part of a political maneuver that compromised the integrity of the historic Kano Emirate, which predates Nigeria and its constitution by over a thousand years.

Bature stated: “The governor’s action was intended to protect the emirate’s integrity as an institution. The Emirate of Kano has a history that predates Nigeria, with people living under a single Emir for over a thousand years. Ganduje’s administration politicized this history, which Yusuf promised to rectify during his campaign to restore the emirate’s lost glory.”

He further remarked, “This is not the first time an Emir has been deposed; Ganduje did it, and Sanusi left Kano for peace to prevail. Now Sanusi has returned to Kano after the law was repealed.”

Clarifying Bayero’s status, Bature said, “Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. He was appointed as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city. With the revision of the law under a unified Kano, the emirate Bayero served no longer exists. He was the Emir of the Kano city emirate, not the entire 44 local governments of Kano, a status created by Ganduje’s 2019 Emirate law.”

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Governor Yusuf deposed Ado Bayero and reinstated Muhammed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Despite this, Ado Bayero has refused to leave his Nassarawa palace and has challenged the state government’s action in court.

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