The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Abuja, yesterday described the ruling of the Supreme Court upholding the election of the Governor of Taraba State, Mr Darius Ishaku, as a victory for the party and an indication that the Judiciary remains the window of hope for democracy in the country.
Reacting to the judgement of the apex court which upheld the election of the governor, the party said that the bold and patriotic approach of the apex court in the various tribunal cases goes a long way to show that it is indeed the last hope of the down trodden.
“Without such landmark judgments from the Supreme Court, perhaps there would have been no Nigeria and we salute them for their courage in delivering justice to the people.
The party, however, warned “APC and the Federal Government to stop insulting the Judiciary as there is nowhere in the world that a ruling party goes about hauling abuses on the judiciary.”
The statement signed by the Acting National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said all hope is not yet lost for democracy.
According to Secondus, the Supreme Court ruling not only establishes the judiciary as a utility arm in stabilizing the nation’s polity but as the voice of the voiceless.
“The ruling is a vivid reflection of the will of the people of Taraba State and goes a long way to show the strength of our party in the state.”
In a similar vein, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike congratulated tGovernor Ishaku on the affirmation of his election, saying that the rule of law has come to stay in the democratic process in the country.
In a press statement issued yesterday ‎from the office of the Governor, he also congratulated the people of the state, whose preference for the PDP had been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
Governor Wike stated that the judgment of the apex court had further strengthened the nation’s democracy and enhanced the confidence of the people in the judiciary.
In his own contribution, the Deputy Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, also commended the decision of the Supreme Court, which affirmed the election of Ishaku as the Governor of the state.
Reacting to the apex court’s decision, Ekweremadu, who is also a senior lawyer, said the judgment conformed with the precedents of the Supreme Court on the nomination of candidates by political parties.
He said: “I want to congratulate my brother, Ishaku on this well deserved victory and commend the Supreme Court for standing solidly on the side of truth and for preserving the sanctity of the ballot box. One can say that in the apex court, the people’s mandate has found refuge once again.
“Importantly, the judgment is in line with the Supreme Court’s established precedents, including the recent cases of Zamfara and Benue States. I, therefore, commend their Lordships for their consistency and also for adjudicating without fear or favour. I call on all parties to accept the verdict in good faith”.
Senator Ekweremadu said he was confident that Governor Ishaku would continue to reciprocate the immense goodwill and trust reposed in him and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP by the masses of Taraba by providing quality and selfless governance that would take development to every nook and cranny of the state.
The legal battle on the disputed Taraba State Governorship Election was yesterday put to final rest with the dismissal of the appeal by the All Progressives Congress, APC and its governorship candidate, Hajiya Aisha Jummai Alhassan over the election of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.
The apex court held that the claim of the APC and the gubernatorial candidate that governor Ishaku was not properly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the April 11, 2015 election lacked merit and substance and cannot be used to invalidate the election.
The court therefore upheld the election of Ishaku on the ground that the APC and Alhassan cannot challenge the primary election that produced the governor for the poll since there were not members and participants in the PDP primary election.
In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the apex court held that the claim of the appellants that section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 was breached in the nomination of Ishaku cannot hold water because they have no locus standi to enquire into internal affairs of another political party.
Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour announced that reasons of the court at arriving at the conclusion would be made public in detail on February 22.
But the apex court said briefly that nomination of candidates by political parties is an internal affair of the parties and that only those who participated in the primary election and who are eligible members of the party have legal rights to enquire or challenge the nomination of the party.
The APC and its governorship candidate had approached the Supreme Court with a prayer to set aside the judgment of a Court of Appeal in Abuja which in December last year nullified the judgment of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that unseated Governor Ishaku on the ground that he was not duly nominated by his party.
According to her, the PDP did not conduct primary elections to nominate its candidate as required by the law.