In a span of nine months, the judiciary has unseated at least four governors, creating turbulence in the aftermath of the 2023 general elections.
In the aftermath of the March 18 governorship election, Abba Kabir Yusuf, the governor of Kano state, faced a setback despite emerging victorious. The tribunal, led by Justice Oluyemi Osadebay, overturned his win on September 20, invalidating 165,663 votes for lacking INEC signatures or stamps
Consequently, Governor Yusuf was ousted, and the NNPP candidate’s votes were reduced to 853,939, while Nasir Yusuf Gawuna’s APC votes remained at 890,705. The Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld this decision, denying Yusuf’s redress.
Also in Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Sule of the APC faced a similar fate as the governorship tribunal in Lafia declared David Ombugadu of the PDP the winner.
Two judges concluded that Sule did not legitimately win the election, while one dissented. Governor Sule has appealed the judgment, awaiting his fate by the end of November.
Following these events, Dauda Lawal, the PDP governor of Zamfara state, encountered a setback as the Court of Appeal in Abuja deemed his election inconclusive.
The Court of Appeal on Thursday, November 16, ordered INEC to conduct a rerun in three local governments of the state, namely Maradun, Birnin Magaji, and Bukuyun.
In Abia state, the Federal High Court in Kano took a historic step by removing Dr Alex Otti, who contested the election on the platform of the Labour Party, the first governor, following a case (FHC/KN/CS/107/2023) brought by Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim.
The court invalidated Otti’s candidacy and that of other Labour Party victors, citing the party’s failure to submit its member list to INEC within 30 days before the election. The last profile wasn’t complete, and Otti’s election was later upheld.