Kano Central Senatorial Seat: INEC Loses Appeal as S’Court Declares Hanga NNPP’s Candidate

The Supreme Court on Friday put to rest the issue of who is the authentic candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the Kano Central Senatorial seat, when it dismissed the appeal filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) challenging the nomination of Senator Rufai Hanga.

The apex court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, held that the appeal by INEC is unmeritorious and should be dismissed.

Hanga and the electoral umpire have been engaged in a legal battle over the authentic candidate of the NNPP for the Kano Central Senatorial election, won by the NNPP.

The NNPP initially submitted the name of former Kano Governor, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, to INEC as its senatorial candidate for Kano Central District.

However, following Shekarau’s defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the NNPP formally wrote INEC asking that the name of Shekarau be replaced with Hanga.

But INEC refused on the grounds that the time for such replacement had elasped, thereby leading to the current litigation.

The Federal High Court Abuja, as well as the Court of Appeal Abuja had, in their concurrent judgment, disagreed with INEC and ordered the commission to publish Hanga’s name as the authentic candidate of the NNPP.

Dissatisfied, INEC again approached the apex court to upturn the concurrent judgment of the two lower courts.

In its judgment delivered on Friday, the apex court upheld the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal were in line with the position of the law and subsequently affirmed them.

According to Justice Uwani Musa Aba-Aji, who prepared the judgment, the case of the electoral umpire was lacking both in merit and substance and should be dismissed in its entirety.

The apex court pointed out that there was no need to interfere with the judgments of the lower courts except there was any evidence that the judgments were pervert, adding that in the instant appeal, INEC failed to prove that the judgments were pervert.

The appellant’s appeal failed and is accordingly dismissed.