Nigerian state declares curfew after election tribunal sacks governor

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria’s northern Kano state declared a 24-hour curfew on Wednesday after a tribunal overturned the election of an opposition candidate as governor and declared a member of President Bola Tinubu’s party the rightful winner.

Police in Kano, which has the highest number of registered voters, said in a statement that violators of the curfew “will be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.”

Ahead of the election tribunal ruling, security forces occupied major roads in the capital of Kano, which shares the same name.

Governors wield wide influence in Nigeria, presiding over budgets bigger than some small African countries and their support often influences who becomes president.

Wednesday’s ruling by a panel of five judges had sparked fears of unrest in the largely Muslim state.

The March gubernatorial vote had seen Abba Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, a regional party, defeating ruling All Progressives Congress party candidate Nasiru Gawuna, who alleged fraud.

Yusuf can appeal the tribunal decision at the Supreme Court.

It is not unusual for governorship election results to be overturned in Nigeria, which has 36 states that are presided over by state governments.

(Reporting by Hamza Ibrahim; Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Sandra Maler)