There is tension in Kano, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Cross River, and Bauchi states as the Supreme Court prepares to deliver crucial judgments in governorship appeals today.
The verdicts will not only determine the fate of the incumbent governors but also quell political tensions in some of these regions.
In Kano, Nasiru Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is challenging the electoral victory of Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria’s Peoples Party (NNPP). Recall that both the Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal previously removed Yusuf from office, but today’s judgment will be the final say on who rightfully claims the governor’s seat.
Plateau State witnesses a similar showdown as Governor Caleb Mutfwang faces off against Nentawe Goshwe of the APC. Mutfwang seeks to overturn a Court of Appeal verdict nullifying his election, arguing that the respondents have no grounds to challenge his party’s internal processes. The apex court had, on January 9, 2024, reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Governor Mutfwang.
Judgments in Zamfara, Lagos, Cross River, and Bauchi states are also expected.
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State governorship dispute ended yesterday as the Supreme Court dismissed three separate appeals seeking to nullify Governor Umo Eno Bassey’s election based on alleged certificate forgery. The petitions, filed by the APC, YPP, and NNPP, were withdrawn by the appellants themselves after facing judicial challenges to their claims.
In readiness for the judgement, the police in Kano have deployed additional personnel and coordinated with other security agencies to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Flashpoints such as party offices, government buildings, and key public areas are under close watch to prevent any potential unrest.
Kano Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hussaini Gumel, made this known shortly after meeting with heads of security agencies in Kano on Thursday.
“We have mobilised sufficient armed personnel to provide security at all flashpoints, including political party offices, Government House, INEC HQ, banks, commercial areas, mosques, churches, recreation centers and motor parks before, during and after the judgment.
“I am giving 100 percent assurance to all law-abiding residents of the state to go about freely with their legitimate daily activities without threat to lives and property,” the commissioner said.