From Muhammad Bukar, Kano
Despite Supreme Court Judgement Returning NNPP Rufai Sani Hanga as the winner of the last Senatorial Elections in Kano, the All Progressive Congress APC, has initiated yet another legal moves to reclaim what it’s terms as “stolen Mandate”.
The APC in a Statement Personally signed by the Kano Chairman of the Party, Abdullahi Abbas, said, “the Party and it’s Candidate, Abdussalam Abdulkarim Zaura, had directed its team of lawyers to approach the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal for redress so to reclaim the mandate of the party lawfully entitled to it and its candidate by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election”.
The Statement said, “attention of the All Progressives Congress (A.P.C.) was drawn to a misleading news publication/report widely circulated on several mass media, prints and social media platforms alleging that the Supreme Court had declared and returned Senator Rufa’i Sani Hanga as the winner of the 2023 General Election for the member of the Senate representing Kano Central Senatorial District of Kano State held on 25th February, 2023, and ordered that a Certificate of Return be issued to him to that effect in place of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.”
The Chairman following that Reports, stated that the said reports are absolutely false and a misrepresentation of the Judgement of the Supreme Court. The party call on media practitioners to be professional, thorough and verify facts before reporting them so as not to misinform the general public and ridicule the judiciary which is the last hope of the common man.”
“For the avoidance of doubt and in order to set the record straight as well as properly informing the general public about the clear facts and circumstances, the subject matter of the civil action before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division (Coram: Honourable Justice Z.B. Abubakar) in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/1632/2022, N.N.P.P. v. I.N.E.C, which cumulated in the Supreme Court’s decision delivered today, had absolutely nothing to do with the declaration and return of Senator Rufa’i Sani Hanga as the winner of the 2023 General Election for the member of the Senate representing Kano Central Senatorial District of Kano State.”
“Furthermore, and importantly so, neither Senator Ibrahim Shekarau nor Senator Rufa’i Sani Hanga were parties to the case which was the subject of the Supreme Court’s Judgement and it is an elementary principle of law that Judgement cannot be delivered in favour of a Person’s who are not a party to a suit or appeal.”
Abbas notes that, Senator Rufa’i Sani Hanga who was never a Candidate in the just concluded election cannot be declared and returned as the winner of the said election. Doing so, will amount to an affront to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act, 2022.By the law, INEC has already declared Senator Ibrahim Shekarau as the winner of the 2023 General Election and as such cannot make a second declaration and return of another person as the winner of the same election.”
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, has in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, written to INEC appealing to it to review its decision on the declaration and return of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, who was not qualified to contest as at the time of the conduct of the election.”
“However, INEC having failed to exercise its powers of review under Section 65 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, despite the appeal from us, we have no option but to seek Redress at the Election Tribunal to commence sitting soon”.
The State Chairman said, before the mandate of the party is restored and secured, the party appeal to its teaming members and supporters, to remain calm, peaceful and have faith in the judicial process in Nigeria.
“We call on them to continue enlightening the public not to cast their vote in favour of NNPP in the next election as just like the case of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau and Senator Rufa’i Sani Hanga, the NNPP has no candidate in all the elections as there are pending cases on the issue of NNPP candidates in the 2023 General Elections,” they claimed.