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Court Reserves Ruling On Taraba Governorship Election Appeal

By Abdul Gaffar Bello

A Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved ruling on the appeal filed before it by the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku.
The leading Judge, Abdul Aboki, Monday declined ruling after listening to adoption of written addresses by counsels to all parties.

The State Governor’s victory about two months ago was upturned by the State Governorship Election Tribunal, also in Abuja. The lower court ruled then that the primary which held in Abuja and in which Ishaku of the opposition PDP emerged the winner did not comply with the Electoral act.

The Governor’s election was challenged at the Tribunal by his main challenger and candidate of the ruling APC, Mrs. Aisha Al-Hassan.

In his defence, Counsel to the appellant, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN) claimed that one of the principal witnesses admitted in his written evidence that Governor Ishaku was duly sponsored and elected during his party’s primary.

The claim was however countered by the respondent’s Counsel, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko, who argued that the witness in question was wrongly quoted, by Mr. Agabi, adding that the appellant’s counsel omitted the key word, “not” from the witness’s statement.

Both the APC and PDP Counsels opposed each other. Mr. Mahmud Magaji who held brief for the APC maintained that the primary which declared Governor Ishaku winner was unconstitutional; hence, the Governor was not qualified to contest the Saturday, April 11, 2015 poll.

Mr. Solomon Aku who represented the PDP held that the respondent was not qualified to contest the qualification of the Governor at his party’s primary. He argued that it was only party’s contender(s) that has the right to so challenge.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) told the court that his client considered the Taraba PDP Governorship primary as conducted early this year, was in order and in compliance with the law.

After the addresses, Justice Aboki held back on judgement and said the date of ruling would later be communicated to all parties.

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