The Supreme Court is poised to deliver judgments today, January 12, 2024, affecting the political fortunes of several state governors, including Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano, Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi, and Bassey Otu of Cross Rivers.
Yusuf vs. Gawuna
In late December, the Supreme Court reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Kano State Governor Abba Yusuf, challenging his removal from office by the Court of Appeal and the State Election Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal had nullified Yusuf’s victory and declared Nasiru Gawuna of the APC as the duly elected governor. The appellate court upheld this decision, asserting that Yusuf’s candidacy violated electoral laws. The governor sought redress at the Supreme Court.
Mutfwang vs. Goshwe
On January 9, 2024, the Supreme Court reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang, seeking to overturn the Court of Appeal’s verdict nullifying his election. Mutfwang argued that the respondents had no right to question the party’s internal processes. Despite the Appeal Court’s decision to replace him with Goshwe, Mutfwang pursued the matter in the apex court.
Lawal vs. Matawalle
In November, the Appeal Court nullified Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal’s election, upholding Bello Matawalle’s appeal. Despite the earlier tribunal’s ruling in favor of Lawal, the appellate court overturned his victory, ordering a fresh election in three local government areas. Lawal contested this decision in the Supreme Court.
Mohammed vs. Abubakar
Also in November, the appellate court affirmed Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed’s victory, dismissing the APC candidate Sadique Abubakar’s appeal. The court ruled against claims of improper filling of election forms. The Supreme Court is the final recourse for Abubakar.
Sanwo-Olu vs. GRV, Jandor
In Lagos, the Appeal Court upheld the tribunal’s decision, confirming the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat. The PDP and LP appeals were dismissed for lack of merit. The aggrieved candidates approached the Supreme Court for a final verdict.
Nwifuru vs. Odii
The Supreme Court recently reserved judgment in the Ebonyi State governorship election appeal. The Court of Appeal had affirmed the election of APC’s Francis Nwifuru, dismissing PDP’s Chukwuma Odii’s appeal. Odii sought redress in the apex court.
Otu vs. Onor
Cross River’s PDP governorship candidate, Senator Sandy Onor, challenged the election of Governor Bassey Otu of the APC. The Court of Appeal, Calabar Judicial Division, dismissed Onor’s appeal, claiming disqualification, certificate forgery, and non-membership in APC. Onor seeks the Supreme Court’s intervention.
The judgments, scheduled for today, hold significant implications for the political landscapes of these states.