The Nigerian midfielder edged three others, Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars), Sibi Gwar (Niger Tornadoes) and David Tyavkase (Lobi Stars), to the prestigious award in the season under review in the Nigeria Premier League.
The 22-year-old capped the evening on a high by also scooping the Best National Team Player. The other nominees for this category were Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves) and Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves).
A delighted Gabriel said afterwards: “I'm honoured to be the winner of the Player of the Year and also Best National Team Player. I want to thank my teammates at Kano Pillars and in the Super Eagles for this, my coaches too and fans as well as the organisers of this awards.
“This will only encourage me to do well in future for my club and country whenever I represent both teams in any competition.”
There were other winners on the night at the LBA, including Sibi Gwar of Niger Tornadoes (Highest Goalscorer), Andrew Abalogu of ABS (Rookie of the Year), Theophilus Afelokhai of Kano Pillars (Best Goalkeeper), Tamen Medrano of Sunshine Stars and Cameroon (Best Foreigner/Joetex Frimpong Award) and Kano Pillars (Club of the Year).
Rookie of the Year - Andrew Abalogu (ABS)
Best Goalkeeper - Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars)
Best Foreigner - Tamen Medrano (Sunshine Stars/Cameroon)
Club of the Year - Kano Pillars
Best Designed Club Jersey - 3SC (OWU)
Highest Goalscorer Award - Sibi Gwar (16 goals)
Manager of the Year (NPL) - Dominic Iorfa (Lobi Stars)
Manager of the Year (Africa) - Gbenga Ogunbote (Sunshine Stars)