In the ever-evolving landscape of Nigerian politics, recent years have witnessed a series of legal battles that have led to the removal of some Nigerian state governors from their elected positions. These abrupt leadership changes have sparked considerable attention and debate across the nation.
From allegations of electoral irregularities to constitutional breaches, these court-ordered removals have sent ripples through the country’s political landscape, raising important questions about governance, democracy, and the role of the legal system in shaping the nation’s future. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing cases of Some Nigerian governors who were ousted from office by court orders. Let’s dive in.
Recently Caleb Mutfwang made the list as one of the Nigerian governors removed from office. the Plateau State Governor faced a pivotal legal battle as the Appeal Court in Abuja ruled his election highly incompetent, resulting in his removal from office. Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Nentawe Goshwe of the APC, citing constitutional and electoral law violations.
The court found Mutfwang’s PDP sponsorship invalid and pointed out the PDP’s failure to conduct a proper congress. It emphasized that qualification is both a pre-election and post-election matter and reaffirmed a party’s exclusive right to sponsor a candidate. INEC was instructed to issue a fresh certificate of return to Goshwe, underscoring the judiciary’s role in ensuring electoral fairness and accountability.
Another of the Nigerian governors was also removed when the Court of Appeal in Abuja made a significant ruling that removed Abba Yusuf, who was the governor of Kano State under the NNPP (New Nigeria Peoples Party). The lower election petition tribunal had previously nullified Yusuf’s election, declaring Nasiru Gawuna of the APC (All Progressives Congress) as the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship election in Kano State. The Court of Appeal’s decision was based on the disqualification of Yusuf as a candidate because he was not a member of the NNPP at the time of the election.
Olusegun Oni, a prominent Nigerian politician, held the position of Ekiti State Governor from May 29, 2007, to October 14, 2010, under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, his tenure was marked by controversy and legal battles. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, his main opponent in the 2007 general election, contested his victory at the Election Petition Tribunal in Ekiti State.
Following a series of legal challenges, Oni was briefly ousted from office after the Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s decision, citing irregularities in the 2007 election. Despite a subsequent victory at the election petition tribunal, Olusegun Oni became one of the Nigerian governors removed from office on October 15, 2010, when the Appeal Court ruled in favour of his opponent Kayode Fayemi.
Murtala Hamman-Yero Nyako, a distinguished figure in Nigerian politics, served as the Executive Governor of Adamawa State. He assumed office in May 2007 after a career in the Navy, which included holding the position of Military-Governor of Niger State and Chief of Naval Staff. Nyako ventured into politics in 2006 and was elected Governor of Adamawa State in April 2007.
However, in February 2008, the Election Petition Appeal Tribunal nullified his election, citing electoral malpractices. Subsequently, the House Speaker, James Barka, assumed the role of Acting Governor. After a fresh election, Nyako reclaimed the governorship in April 2008. Despite initial impeachment attempts, his relationship with the House improved, and he continued to serve as governor until July 2014 when he was impeached over allegations of financial misconduct. The Federal Court of Appeal later declared his impeachment illegal in February 2016, though he was not reinstated.
The Zamfara State governorship election witnessed a significant legal battle involving Dauda Lawal of the PDP and the incumbent governor, Bello Matawalle of the APC. INEC initially declared Dauda Lawal as the winner, but Matawalle contested the results in a tribunal, which dismissed his case.
Subsequently, Daudu Lawal became one of the Nigeran governors ruled out of office when the Court of Appeal ruled on November 16, declaring the election inconclusive and ordering INEC to conduct new elections in two local governments. The appellate court found that Matawalle had successfully demonstrated the invalidity of Lawal’s election.
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