The Supreme Court has affirmed the nomination of Rufai Hanga the Kano central senatorial district candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The apex court removed a former Kano governor, Ibrahim Shekarau who was earlier nominated by NNPP and declared winner of the election.
In May 2022, Shekarau dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the NNPP after months of leadership tussle with Kano governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
In August 2022, Shekarau decamped from NNPP (again) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Owing to his defection from NNPP, the party moved to replace him with Hanga, a former senator.
However, when the final list of senatorial candidates was published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the former Kano governor was listed as the NNPP candidate.
Owing to the refusal of INEC to accept Hanga as a replacement for Shekarau, NNPP approached the court to seek redress.
The Federal High Court and Court of Appeal ruled in favour of NNPP while affirming the nomination of Hanga as the party’s candidate.
Dissatisfied with the lower court’s ruling, INEC approached the Supreme Court.
On Friday, the apex court ruled that the electoral body’s appeal lacked merit and substance, and as such, dismissed it.
Justice Emmanuel Agim upheld the verdict of the appeal court.
On February 28, INEC declared Shekarau as the winner of the Kano central senatorial district election.
The returning officer, Tijani Darma said Shekarau polled 456,787 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Abdulkarim Zaura of APC who polled 168,677 votes.
Shortly after the announcement of the result, Shehu Usman, NNPP’s agent, accused INEC of refusing to replace Shekarau with Hanga.
Yusuf Atta, an agent of APC, asked INEC to declare Abdulkarim Zaura, the APC candidate who came second, as the winner because Shekarau did not participate in the election.
However, the returning officer told the party agents to report their complaints to INEC and the election tribunal.