Court of Appeal upholds Ishaku’s re-election as Taraba governor

Darius Ishaku, Taraba State Governor
Darius Ishaku, Taraba State Governor

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Monday upheld the return of Darius Ishaku as governor of Taraba.

The court also dismissed the appeal by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

The APC approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the Taraba Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the declaration of Mr Ishaku as winner of the March 9 governorship election.

The five-member panel presided by Justice Chidi Uwa, in the judgment agreed with the lower tribunal that the appellant had no lawful candidate in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Taraba State, by virtue of the disqualification of its candidate, Abubakar Danladi by the Jalingo division of the Federal High Court on March 6, 2019.

The panel in a unanimous decision upheld the judgment of the Taraba Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, and also dismissed the APC’s petition for being unmeritorious.

The court in addition said that the appellant was also unable to prove allegations of irregularities raised in its petition and accordingly dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared, Mr Ishaku, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state having won majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.

The three-member panel of the tribunal led by Justice M.O. Adewara had in a unanimous judgment delivered on Sept. 20, dismissed the petition by the APC on grounds that it had no lawful candidate in the governorship election that handed out a second term ticket to Mr Ishaku.

The Federal High Court in Jalingo, governorship election tribunal, nullified the candidacy of Abubakar Danladi and also restrained his party, the APC from fielding him as a governorship candidate.

Attempts by Mr Danladi to overturn the order of the Federal High Court that disqualified him were unsuccessful at Court of Appeal and Supreme Court respectively.

The tribunal further held that Mr Danladi was not qualified to contest the March 9 governorship election, having been disqualified by the apex court in the country.

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However, dissatisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, the All Progressive Congress, without its candidate, Mr Danladi, approached the Court of Appeal marked CA/A/EPT/934/2019, on October 3, 2019, in petition No: EPT/TR/GOV/01/2019, for an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal.

The APC had among other things claimed that Mr Ishaku did not win majority of votes cast at the election on account of alleged irregularities that marred the governorship poll.

The party therefore prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal and ordered the INEC to conduct a fresh election.

(NAN)

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