Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Legal moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sack Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State failed on Wednesday at the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jalingo which dismissed the petition against his victory in the March 9, election.
The dismissed petition was filed by the APC governorship candidate in the state, Abubakar Danladi.
Recall that 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 not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the election.
They further 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 for reasons of corrupt practices.
Joined as a respondent in the petition, was 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.
Five-man justice 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, 2019, 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 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, on March 7, 2019, the Court of Appeal sitting in Yola stayed the execution of the judgment of the lower court in favour of Mr Danladi, which enabled him to stand for the March 9, governorship election in Taraba State.