The Supreme Court has sacked Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Governor of Kano State, as the senatorial candidate of the NNPP in the February 25 National Assembly election.

The apex court upheld the candidature of Rufai Hanga as the senatorial candidate of the NNPP for Kano Central following Shekarau’s withdrawal as a member of the party and senatorial candidate.

More on the judgment: With this ruling, the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Federal High Court and the appellate court which upheld the candidature of Hanga as the candidate of the party.

A five-member panel of the court led by Justice Inyang Okoro ruled that INEC was wrong to have refused to replace Shekarau with Hanga. Consequently, the apex court dismissed INEC’s appeal.

The backstory: Shekarau had withdrawn as a member of the NNPP and tendered his resignation to the party in August 2022 and joined the Peoples Democratic Party

Following his resignation, as provided by the Electoral Act, the party conducted fresh primaries which produced Senator Rufa’i Hanga as the winner of which his name was subsequently sent to INEC. However, in September 2022, INEC insisted that Shekarau remained the NNPP candidate.

  • Though Shekarau had written to INEC informing them about his decision to resign from the NNPP, INEC still printed the ballot paper with Shekarau on it.
  • INEC subsequently revealed that Shekarau’s name will still be on the ballot paper because his withdrawal from the party came later than as provided for in the Electoral Act.
  • After the election, Shekarau was announced to have polled 456,787 votes defeating the APC candidate who polled 168, 677 votes.
  • NNPP approached the Federal High Court in Kano and the court ruled in favour of Hanga. The court recognized Hangar as the party’s candidate.
  • Dissatisfied with the judgement, INEC appealed the decision and the court of appeal also affirmed Hanga as the lawful candidate of the NNPP Kano Central Senatorial District.
  • INEC again approached the supreme court seeking to overturn the decisions of the lower court.