HomeCover StoriesEXCLUSIVE: Supreme Court Justices that may decide Kano governor

EXCLUSIVE: Supreme Court Justices that may decide Kano governor


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The Supreme Court may on Friday, January 12, 2024, deliver judgement on the protracted and highly charged Kano governorship election dispute between Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and Nasiru Gawuna.

Daily News 24 reports that not only in Kano State, but Nigerians across the country have shown keen interest in who eventually becomes the bona fide governor of Kano State following the legal tussle that has been raging in the state since September last year.

Highlights of the Kano governorship election case:

  • INEC had declared Mr. Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) winner of the March 18, 2023, governorship election after securing 1,019,602 votes against Mr. Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who trailed with 890,705.
  • Mr. Gawuna challenged the results at the Election Petition Tribunal, which sacked Mr. Yusuf by deducting 165,616 votes from his tally, leaving him with 853,986 votes under the guise that the deducted votes were not signed, stamped, or dated. The tribunal then declared Mr. Gawuna the winner of the polls on September 17, 2023.
  • Mr Yusuf rejected the tribunal verdict and filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, which also sacked him, this time relying on the claim that Mr Yusuf was not a registered member of his party, the NNPP. The appellate court, led by Justice Moore Adumein, again declared Mr Gawuna winner of the polls on November 20, 2023.
  • Not satisfied, Mr Yusuf then filed a nine-grounds appeal at the Supreme Court, where the case is scheduled to be finally settled on Friday, January 12, 2024.
  • In December last year, a five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice John Inyang Okoro had heard arguments from all parties in the case and adjourned for the final judgement to be delivered in January.

Throughout the duration of the legal fireworks between the two political juggernauts, Kano state has has been watching developments in the case, while prayers were held by members of the NNPP and the APC, who hope to claim victory at the apex court.

Also, security agencies have tried very hard to maintain peace by bringing the two parties to sign a peace pact ahead of the final judgement.

Residents have been conducting themselves peacefully and praying to God to choose the best among the two leaders.

Also read: Supreme Court may deliver judgement in Kano, Lagos cases Friday

Profiles of some of the Supreme Court justices that may be in the panel to decide the Kano election case:

Honourable Justice John Inyang Okoro

Justice John Inyang Okoro is a Nigerian jurist and Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Okoro started his legal career as Magistrate Grade II in 1986 and rose through the Magisterial Cadre culminating in his promotion to the post of Chief Magistrate Grade I in 1996.

He was then appointed a Judge of the High Court of Akwa Ibom State from 1998 to 2006. Okoro was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2006 and served in that capacity till 2013.

His appointment as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was confirmed by the Senate in October 2013. He was sworn in on 15 November 2013 by Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria. (Source: Wikipeadia).

Hon. Justice. Kudirat Olatokunbo Kekere.

Hon. Mr. Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo KEKERE-EKUN CFR was born on May 7, 1958. She obtained her LL.B in 1980 from the University of Lagos and LL.M from the London School of Economic and Political Science in November 1983. She was called to the Nigerian Bar on 10th July 1981.

She was appointed a Senior Magistrate Grade II, Lagos State Judiciary in December 1989. She was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Lagos State in July 1996. She served as Chairman Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Zone II, Ikeja, Lagos from November 1996 to May 1999.

She was elevated as a Justice of the Court of Appeal on 22nd September 2004. She served as a member of the Court of Appeal ICT Committee from June 2011 to July 2013. She has attended numerous courses and seminars within and outside Nigeria, such as Case Management and Court Administration Training Workshop Organized by the National Centre for State Courts in June 2001, ICT Training Course (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) in Dubai UAE in July 2012 and the 34th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge, UK in September 2016.

She was appointed a Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria on June 8, 2013.

She is a member of some notable clubs and Professional Associations, and has received several merit awards. She enjoys reading, music, information technology and counselling.

She is happily married with children. (Source: Supreme Court)

Hon. Justice. Uwani Abba Aji.

Hon Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji (JSC) was born on the 7th November, 1956 in Gashua, Yobe State. She attended Central Primary School Gashua and Government Girls Secondary School Maiduguri for her Primary and Secondary Education between 1961 and 1972.

She obtained a Diploma in Law from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1976 and subsequently, an L.L.B Hons from the same institution in 1980. She was called to Bar in 1981 and commenced her career as State Counsel in 1982. Prior to holding this position however, She had held positions of Clerical Assistant (Area Courts Division), Assistant Registrar, Acting Registrar and Higher Registrar between 1973 and 1982.

After her appointment as State Counsel in 1982, she rose through various positions becoming an Acting Senior State Counsel in 1984, Senior Magistrate II in 1986, Senior Magistrate I in 1987, Chief Magistrate II in 1989, Chief Magistrate I in 1991 and Chief Registrar in November 1991.

She was appointed Higher Court Judge of Yobe State Judiciary in December 1991 making her the first Lady Judge at Yobe State Judiciary, a position she held until July 2004 when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

She had also served in various election petition tribunals in addition to being a designated ICPC Anticorruption Judge between 2001 and 2014 and a Life bencher in 2018. His Lordship hat attended various Seminars and Conferences both nationally and internationally and has also presented several papers in various workshops. She has also received various commendations during the course of her career.

Before her elevation to the Supreme Court on January 8th 2019, His Lordship was the Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal Kaduna Division, a position she held for 4 years.

She is happily married with three children and enjoys reading, writing and gardening. She has also travelled far and wide to almost all the continents in the world.

Hon. Justice. Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa

Hon. Justice I.M.M. Saulawa, JSC was born on September 29, 1956 in the ancient city of Katsina. Katina State. North West of Nigeria. He attended both Primary and Secondary Schools in Katsina from 1965 to 1976.

He proceeded to the prestigious Bayero University.  Kano in September 1977 and graduated in June 1981 with a Bachelor of Law degree. 

The same year he proceeded to the fore most prestigious Nigerian Law School Lagos and was eventually called to the Nigerian prestigious Nigerian Law School Lagos and was eventually called to the Nigerian Bar on July 2, 1982.

Justice Saulawa was elevated to the Bench of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria -June 10. 2006.  He had served in most of the Divisions (Circuits) of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Saulawa has served in various capacities as follows before his elevation to Supreme Court of Nigeria on November 10, 2020, where he still serves.

  • Calaber Judicial Division October. 2015 – August. 2018; …
  • Ilorin Judicial Division – September, 2018 – January, 2020.
  • Port Harcourt Judicial Division – January, 2020 – November 9, 2020.
Hon. Justice. Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa

Justice Adamu Jauro was born on 26th June 1959 and hails from Gombe State.

He attended Central Primary School, Gombe, Government Secondary School, Bauchi and the School of Basic Science, Zaria. Then in 1980, he studied Law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he bagged his LLB.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar on 10th July 1981.

He joined the Ministry of Justice in Bauchi State in 1983, and later moved to Ahmadu Bello University on secondment as Assistant Lecturer and later rejoined the Ministry of Justice, Bauchi State. He was in active service in the prosecution department and rose to the rank of Director of Public Prosecution from 1991 to 1996 before he left for the newly created Gombe State.

He was elevated to the Court of Appeal on November 2, 2008, and has served in the Jos, Lagos, Yola, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt Appellate Divisions.

In November 2020, he was elevated to the Supreme Court bench.

Justice Jauro holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos. He also has a certificate from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

He was one of five judges who dissented the affirmation of Ahmad Lawan as APC Senatorial Candidate for Yobe North.


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