FULL LIST: State governors sacked by court so far and reasons

FULL LIST: State governors sacked by court so far and reasons

Since the completion of the 2023 general elections, attention has shifted to the courts that are deciding the petitions arising from the elections. In this piece, Okiki Adeduyite looks at the state governors so far sacked by courts and why they were sacked.

FULL LIST: State governors sacked by court so far and reasons
FULL LIST: State governors sacked by court so far and reasons

In a judgment on Sunday, the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Elphreda Williams-Dawodu, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return given to Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.

The court declared Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship election, ordering INEC to issue a new Certificate of Return to him.

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Courts  have sacked at least three governors whose elections were contested by opposing parties and deemed one election inconclusive, barely nine months after the elections.

The following is a list of sacked state governors and the grounds given by the court:

  • Abba Kabir Yusuf (NNPP)

The NNPP received 1,019,602 votes to defeat the APC, whose candidate, Nasir Gawuna, received 890,705 votes, according to INEC. As a result, the NNPP candidate won by a margin of 128,897 votes.

The Election Petitions Tribunal, under the leadership of Justice Oluyemi Osadebay, invalidated the election of Governor Yusuf. The tribunal made this decision by declaring  165,663 votes, garnered by  Yusuf invalid.

The ballot papers for the 165,663 votes were not signed or stamped, according to the judge, and thus were invalid.

The court ordered that Yusuf’s certificate of return be revoked and that a fresh one be issued to Gawuna.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja also upheld the tribunal’s decision.

The three-member panel, led by Justice M.A Adumeh, determined that Yusuf was not on his political party’s membership list.

He stated that a party must hold the names of its registered members in both hard and soft copies, citing a clause of the Electoral Act.

The judge stated that the tribunal erred in failing to disqualify Yusuf in its ruling.

“The tribunal was wrong not to have disqualified him. The failure to comply with Section 177(c) is fatal to their election. . Where a party carelessly nominates a candidate such is a nullity irrespective of whether he performs well. Sponsorship without membership is like putting nothing on something, it cannot stand. This is a clear example of acting with brazen impunity as if the Constitution is not binding,” he held.

Yusuf has, however, vowed to reclaim his mandate at the Supreme Court.

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