-By Austen Akhagbeme:
Like a bolt out of the blue, the Election petition tribunal in Kano gave a big blow, with their Judgment, to the sitting Governor and the Kwakwassiyar grassroots movement led by the embattled former Governor Rabiu Kwakwaso who until recently, a chieftain of the NNPP.
Senator Rabiu Kwakwaso has had many battles to contend with in the recent past. Having suffered a recent expulsion from his beloved Party, NNPP on whose platform he contested the last Presidential election, the recent sacking of his political Godson, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, is one crisis too many for the former minister of defense.
The election tribunal which met virtually via Zoom invalidated 165,663 votes from the sitting Governor’s earlier declared total votes of 1,019,602. This makes the total vote cast lesser than that of his opponent, the APC’s Nasiru Gawuna who has been declared the winner.
The votes that were invalidated by the tribunal on the basis that the ballot papers were not stamped have brought to the fore more questions than answers. Whose responsibility it is to ensure that the ballot papers are stamped? Is it INEC or the Political parties?
If it is INEC, why should the party be the victim? Does such a huge amount of unstamped ballot papers suggest that they may not have originated from INEC? How did the judges conclude that all of the over 150,000 invalid ballot papers belonged to the NNPP only? Is the tribunal not supposed to have called for a rerun in such polling units?
While we are waiting for these riddles to be answered probably by the next appellate court, we must all call for peace to reign in the potentially volatile city of Kano.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online