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SUPREME COURT: APC, NNPP deny trade-off, interference in Kano governorship petition

SUPREME COURT: APC, NNPP deny trade-off, interference in Kano governorship petition

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed speculations that it traded off the governorship seat in Kano state as part of an arrangement to stave off any possible post-adjudication violence.

It said what played out at the Supreme Court last Friday was essentially a matter of law decided strictly by esteemed arbiters.

The APC had won at both the Election Petition Tribunal and Court of Appeal, but the Supreme Court decided in favour of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the governorship election petition in Kano state.

Speaking to newsmen Sunday in Abuja, APC’s deputy national organising secretary, Nze Chidi Duru, said while the party would have loved to win the state, it would continue to bow to the decisions of the courts.

According to the former member of the House of Representatives, “law is what it is. Law is based on law and then on facts.”

He said: “The judiciary spoke and that is why we have the various tiers of the judiciary. You have the trial courts and then you have the Court of Appeal, thereafter you have the Supreme Court and that is not in any way to denigrate the understanding of the learned justices who were at the various levels of adjudication systems. The trial court appreciated and pronounced the fact as they understood it and the same thing happened when they went to the Court of Appeal. It was also basically to that extent they appreciated the matter and those in the final court saw it differently and then of course pronounced judgment based on the facts that were before them.

“So, it does not in any way denigrate one section of the arm of the judiciary against the other and it is in the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have these various layers of adjudication process; that first, if you err at the trial court, then those at the higher courts may then look at it and find a different understanding based on the understanding that they have.

“I did not see any politics in it. I did not also see any arrangement based on that. What did happen was that at the trial court, they understood the fact differently, at the Court of Appeal they also understood it but more importantly at the Supreme Court which is the final arbiter in the judicial process, a different understanding was given to it and a pronouncement was made accordingly.

“Law is what it is. Law is based on law and then on facts and if for anything, I want to believe that we should applaud our judiciary for again rising up to the occasion and then espousing the law in a way that Nigerians are confident that you can actually take your differences and grievances to an impartial arbiter and there will be justice dispensed in a way that is satisfactory to all parties involved.

“It is also commendable in a way that it did also suggest that even if there is the suspicion of an interference in the arm of government that Friday’s ruling and exposition on the part of the judiciary also did show that they are essentially independent. It gives confidence to both the political actors that the only way you can win election really and frankly is to reach to the electorate; to canvass your views, your ideas and your ideals, share your manifestos with them and then when you win, you win fair and square.”

Kano gov lauds Tinubu, VP

Similarly, Kano State governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf said President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima ignored the pressure to interfere in the legal battle while it lasted.

In a statement by the governor’s media team, Yusuf said he “noted with pleasure how President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Deputy, Kashim Shettima, didn’t interfere in the apex court judgement despite stiff pressure from disgruntled quarters.”

Also, the NNPP has hailed what it described as the courage of the justices of the Supreme Court, saying they upheld the principles of fairness.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja, acting national chairman of the party, Abba Ali, said the verdict affirmed the victory of NNPP and its candidate.

 

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