The Supreme Court on Friday sacked Senator Ibrahim Shekarau as the candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party and recognised Senator Rufa’i Hanga as the party’s candidate for the 2023 general election.
According to press reports, Shekarau was named the NNPP candidate for the 2023 Kano Central Senatorial District election.
Shekarau, a senator at the time, was a member of the NNPP and was chosen to run for senator on that party’s platform.
However, before the elections, he announced his defection from the NNPP and abandoned his senatorial ambition to join the Peoples Democratic Party.
But the Independent National Electoral Commission later insisted that it still recognised him as the legitimate NNPP candidate, even though the party replaced him with Hanga.
Shekarau, who is going to the red chamber for the second time, was declared by the returning officer of the senatorial district, Professor Tijjani Darma.
According to INEC, Shekarau polled 456,787 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress candidate, Alhaji Abdulkarim Zaura, who polled 168,677 votes.
However, the Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the nomination of Hanga as the NNPP’s authentic candidate.
In a unanimous judgement, Justice Inyang Okoro-led five-member panel of the court faulted INEC’s refusal to replace Shekarau with Hanga after the former left the party for PDP before the election.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgment, written by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, dismissed the INEC appeal.
The court, however, upheld the two earlier concurrent judgments by the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, both in Abuja, that affirmed Hanga as the authentic candidate of NNPP.