Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Legal moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sack Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State failed yesterday at the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which dismissed the petition against his victory at the March 9, election in the state.
The dismissed petition was filed by the APC governorship candidate in the state, Abubakar Danladi.
The tribunal was relocated to Abuja from Taraba State following concerns over the security of its members and the petitioners.
Delivering judgment, the tribunal relied on the July 5 decision of the Supreme Court, which upheld the Appeal Court judgment that disqualified Danladi on the grounds of false declaration of age.
Justice M.O. Adewarahe, in his judgment, held that the petition was incompetent.
The petitioners claimed that the governor was duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast in the election.
The petitioners claimed that the governor’s election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The petitioners further claimed that Ishaku’s election was invalid by reasons of corrupt practices.
Joined as respondent in the petition is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Supreme Court had dismissed the appeal filed before it by Danladi, challenging his disqualification by the Federal High Court in Jalingo.
A five-man justices of the Supreme Court headed by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, dismissed the appeal filed by Danladi for being incompetent and failing to meet the requirements of the law.
Danladi was disqualified from contesting the 2019 governorship election in Taraba State on March 6, by the Federal High Court, Jalingo presided over by Justice Stephen Pam.
The court based its decision on allegations of false declaration of age by Danladi in the documents provided to the INEC.
However, on March 7, the Court of Appeal in Yola stayed the execution of the judgment of the lower in favour of Danladi, which enabled him to stand for the March 9, governorship election in Taraba State.
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