• Declares ministerial designate gov-elect

taraba-govTaraba State Governorship
Election Petition Tribunal, sitting
at the Appeal Court in Abuja
yesterday, sacked the governor
of the state, Chief Darius Dickson
Ishaku, of the Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP, for failure to secure
sponsorship of a registered
political party in the April 11,
governorship election.
The governor was ordered
to vacate office by the tribunal
on the grounds that he was not
sponsored by PDP or any political
party as demanded by law.
Delivering a unanimous
judgment in a petition filed by the
All Progressives Congress, APC,
and its governorship candidate,
Hajia Aisha Jumai Alhassan, the
tribunal chairman, Musa Danladi
Abubakar, ordered that the APC
candidate be sworn-in, having
scored the second largest votes in
the governorship election.
In the judgment, which
lasted about three hours, the
tribunal held that the purported
nomination of the sacked
governor by PDP breached
section 85 of the Electoral Act
The tribunal held that it
was a fundamental law in
Nigeria that a candidate for an
elective position must be dully
nominated and sponsored by a
registered political party before
the candidature of such candidate
can be legally valid.
In the instant case, the tribunal
said there was overwhelming
evidence that PDP in Taraba
State did not do any primary
election that could have led to
the emergence of anybody as a
sponsored candidate.
The tribunal recalled the
evidence of the Independent
National Electoral Commission,
INEC, on subpoena, during the
hearing of the petition, when the
commission claimed that it had
no record of any primary election
by PDP in Taraba State, whereas
Section 85 of the Electoral Act
made it mandatory that INEC
must be given 21 days notice of
a convention or a primary where
candidates are to be nominated
for election.
The tribunal therefore, said
since Ishaku was not sponsored
by any known registered political
party, he cannot lay claim to
votes cast for any political party
and cannot as well claim to be
an independent candidate in the
The APC and its governorship
candidate had challenged the
victory and declaration of
Governor Darius Ishaku as
winner of the April 11 election in
the state by INEC.
At the hearing, the counsel
to the petitioners, Mr. Abiodun
Owonikoko (SAN), adopted
his final written addresses and
urged the tribunal to return the
1st petitioner, Alhassan, as the
elected governor of the state.
However, counsel to the 1st,
2nd and 3rd respondents in the
unanimous submissions prayed
the court to dismiss the petition,
describing it as lacking merit.
In his closing argument, the
counsel to PDP, Solomon Akuna
(SAN), also prayed that the
petition be dismissed because the
petitioners had not proved their

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