The court of appeal on Monday reserved judgment in the appeal of Darius Ishaku challenging the judgment of the Taraba state election petition tribunal which annulled his election as governor of the state.
The court reserved judgment after counsel to Ishaku and Aisha Alhassan, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 governorship election in Taraba state, made their final arguments.
Ishaku had filed the appeal following the annulment of his election on November 7.
Danladi Abubakar, chairman of the tribunal, had declared Alhassan winner of the election on the grounds that Ishaku did not emerge candidate of the PDP “in a proper primary election”.
He ruled that Alhassan, also known as ‘Mama Taraba’, be sworn in as governor because she came second in the poll.
The tribunal also quashed 10 applications of Ishaku, who urged the court to dismiss the petition of Alhassan for lack of merit.
The tribunal held that the governorship primaries conducted by the PDP in Taraba violated section 78 (b) (1)(2) of the electoral act which guides parties nomination to the position of governorship candidate.
It held that contrary to the provision of the section, the PDP conducted the primaries at its national secretariat in Abuja with no clear delegation from the local government areas in the state.
The tribunal admitted the testimonies of the head of election monitoring of INEC that the commission was not aware of any primaries conducted by the party in line with the provision of the electoral act which produced Ishaku as the candidate. The tribunal rejected PDP’s argument that the primaries were shifted to Abuja for security reasons.
It concluded that since Ishaku was not duly sponsored by the PDP, the party had no candidate in the election in the eyes of the law.
The tribunal voided the votes of the PDP and Ishaku in the election which he called “a waste”.
But Ishaku has asked the appeal court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal, and to declare him the duly elected governor.
TheCable understands that the court may deliver judgment this week.