Senator Aisha Alhassan has lost the battle to claim the Taraba state Government House today as the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja upturned the verdict of the election tribunal and ruled that the method of nomination of a candidate should not be one of the grounds for disqualification for the election as stated in the constitution and the electoral act.
It also ruled that the issue of PDP primary which produced Governor Darius Ishaku was a pre-election matter that should not have been entertained by the Tribunal.
The court also ruled that only INEC and members of PDP who participated in the primary election has the right to complain.
The Court said whether the primary of a political party was done right or not cannot be subject of an election petition.
The court said the most important question was whether the appellant was a member of PDP and was sponsored by the party for the gubernatorial.
The court ruled that Ishaku was validly nominated candidate of PDP for the election and he participated in the election.
In the judgment of the court, Alhassan and APC have no right to challenge the election in which Ishaku emerged since none of them is a member of PDP.
According to the court, the decision of the Tribunal not to take into consideration the testimony of appellant witnesses that the PDP primary election was shifted to Abuja because of security situation was perverse. It therefore set the decision of the Tribunal aside.
“If the Tribunal decides that a candidate elected at an election was not validly nominated, it can nullify the victory, it should order for fresh election and not declare the petitioner the winner of the poll”.
The court therefore ruled that the Tribunal was wrong to have declared the APC candidate who scored the second highest number of votes the winner of the election.