Supreme Court upholds Gov. Ishaku's election in Taraba

By The Citizen

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has been finally pronounced duly elected governor of the state by the Supreme Court.

Governor Ishaku contested last election in the state under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His election has been challenged by Aisha Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a unanimous judgment on Thursday, the seven-man bench of the apex court affirmed Ishaku's election after dismissing the appeal filed against him by the All Progressives Congress' governorship candidate in the April 11, 2015 poll, Aisha Alhassan.

Alhassan, now Minister of Women Affairs, had won at the Taraba State Governorship Ele‎ction Petition Tribunal which sat in Abuja, with the Danladi Abubakar-led tribunal ordering Ishaku's removal and directing that the APC candidate be issued with a fresh certificate of return and be sworn in as governor of the state.

The tribunal's judgment was based on alleged non-compliance of the conduct of PDP's primary from which Ishaku emerged as the party's governorship candidate with provisions of sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act.

Ishaku had appealed against the tribunal's decision.

The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the governor, and set aside the judgment of the tribunal on the basis that Alhassan, not being a member of the PDP, lacked the locus standi to challenge the validity of the primary which produced Ishaku as the party's candidate.

‎Alhassan appealed to the Supreme Court, but a seven-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Ibrahim Galadima on Thursday affirmed the earlier verdict of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division delivered on December 31, 2015.

The Supreme Court delivered the judgment more than an hour after hearing Alhassan's appeal on Thursday.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the summary of the lead judgment held that Alhassan's appeal lacked merit.

‎Justice Rhodes-Vivour held, 'I am of the firm view that there is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed.

'The Judgment of the ‎Court of Appeal Abuja Division delivered on December 31, 2015 is affirmed and the election of governor Darius Ishaku is hereby upheld.'

Justice Rhodes-Vivour and the rest of the members of the panel are to give the full reasons for their decisions on February 22.