THE Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Taraba State. In a unanimous judgment on Thursday, February 11, the seven-man bench of the apex court affirmed Ishaku’s election after dismissing the case filed against him by Aisha Alhassan, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the April 11, 2015 poll for lack of merit.
The Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, had ordered the immediate removal of Ishaku and directed that Alhassan, now minister of women affairs, be issued with a fresh certificate of return and be sworn in as governor of the state. The tribunal’s judgment was based on alleged non-compliance with the provisions of Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act.in the conduct of PDP’s primary which produced Ishaku as the party’s governorship candidate.
Ishaku had appealed against the tribunal’s decision. The Court of Appeal on December 31, 2015, ruled in favour of the governor, and set aside the judgment of the tribunal on the basis that Alhassan was not a member of the PDP and lacked the locus standi to challenge the validity of the primary which produced Ishaku as the party’s candidate.
Alhassan headed to the Supreme Court to challenge the appellate court judgement, but a seven-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Ibrahim Galadima affirmed the earlier verdict of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court delivered the judgment more than an hour after hearing Alhassan’s appeal.
Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the summary of the lead judgment, held that Alhassan’s appeal lacked merit. “I am of the firm view that there is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The Judgment of the Court of Appeal Abuja Division delivered on December 31, 2015, is affirmed and the election of Governor Darius Ishaku is hereby upheld.”
Justice Rhodes-Vivour and the rest of the members of the panel are to give the full reasons for their decisions on February 22.
— Feb 11, 2016 @ 16:35 GMT