3rd December, 2023
200 private legal practitioners from the 19 northern states have volunteered to assist Gov. Kabir Yusuf of Kano State to win his gubernatorial election appeal case at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
They spoke under the banner of ‘Abba Kabir Yusuf Volunteer Lawyers Forum For The 19 – Northern States And Abuja.
Addressing a press briefing at Arewa House, on Sunday in Kaduna , a spokesman for the lawyers, Mr Yusuf Ibrahim urged President Bola Tinubu and the Supreme Court not to allow Nigeria become a one-party state, saying that it is an unhealthy democratic practice
They expressed concern over independence of judiciary in the country
The lawyers insisted that the rule of law must be obeyed to ensure the vote of every Nigerian counts during elections.
They further expressed solidarity with Yusuf while opining that the Appeal Court judgment in favour of APC was a clear miscarriage of justice.
“We volunteer as private legal practitioners to participate in the litigation in solidarity for Gov. Yusuf at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“We want to represent the truth in the fight to reclaim his mandate and that of the people of Kano State,” Ibrahim added.
The group also demanded a reworking of the Electoral Act.
“It is pertinent to state here that the Electoral Act needs a holistic reworking in order to address these anomalies of our judicial system and democracy, if we must save it,” he said.
According to the group, pre-election matters must be seen to be addressed as no longer litigable issues after the winner of an election has been declared.
They said, “The attempts by court to conclude upon their findings to declare politicians as winners must also be divested of such powers. At best, order a re-run in the affected areas.
“The dangers are that, if this trend should proceed without being checkmated, then there would no longer be need for open balloting and casting of votes by the general electorate.
“This is so as their mandate would be taken over by those who know the rules of the game and of course, it will no longer be a matter of who wins the election at the general voting posts.”
The lawyers called on the Supreme Court to resist any form of external interference to protect the image of the judiciary and uphold the rule of law.
They said, “We are hopeful that the apex Court would do the right thing devoid of any sentiments and paying able and competent attention to happenings of the just delivered judgments.”
Responding to questions from journalists, another member of the group, Mr Usman Ashafa, said that the judgment of the Appeal Court left much to be desired.