Taraba Guber Polls: APC's Mama Taraba Loses As S’Court Affirms PDP's Ishaku Victory  *Govs. Wike, Okowa Hail Judgement

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) – 

Darius Dickson Ishaku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) retained his position as the governor of Taraba State, folowing the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, February 11, 2016, dismissing the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Aisha J. Alhassan.

Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku
Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku

With the ruling of Nigeria’s apex court, Aisha J. Alhassan, a serving Minister in the President Muhammadu Buhari APC led administration has lost all chances of further litigations aimed at clinching the Garage state seat of governance.

In the lead judgment pronounced by Bode Rhodes Vivour and unanimously adopted by six other judges, it was upheld that the appeal lacked merit and consequently could not stand. The judges have also slated February 22 to give reasons for their ruling.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa have congratulated Ishaku on the affirmation of his election by the Supreme Court, saying the rule of law has come to stay in the democratic process of the country.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had in December cancelled the victory handed Senator Alhassan by the Taraba State Governorship Election Tribunal through the nullification of the election of Ishaku on November 7, 2015.

But in its ruling, the Court of Appeal in December 2015, reviewed Ishaku’s appeal and described as ‘unattainable’, a petition by the APC seeking to disqualify him as the PDP candidate in the gubernatorial election of April 11.

In a unanimous ruling, a five-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki noted that the Election Tribunal was wrong in giving victory to Alhassan, while nullifying the election of Ishaku.

In their respective rulings, the judges said: “There is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the Appeal Court is hereby affirmed. Parties to bear their costs and reasons for the judgment to be given on February 22.”

“Consequently, I order the return of Ishiaku as governor of Taraba State. I agree with the judgment. The appeal is unmeritorious and hereby dismissed. I entirely agree with the lead judgment and abide by them.”

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Gvernor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state congratulated the people of Taraba State, saying the judgment of the apex court had further strengthened the nation’s democracy and enhanced the confidence of the people in the judiciary.

On his part, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa urged Ishaku to extend hands of fellowship to his opponents and ensure that the state gets purposeful leadership and congratulated Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State on the affirmation of his electoral victory by the Supreme Court.

In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, Senator Okowa enjoined Governor Ishaku to extend hands of fellowship to his opponents and ensure that the state gets purposeful leadership.

“I have been there and can attest to the level of distraction a Governor and his administration encounters on account of some needless litigations, but a calm disposition and open-mindedness towards all; including your opponents, is what defines a true leader”, the Governor said.

He urged Governor Ishaku to pursue policies that would define him as a good ambassador of the PDP considering that most of the states around him are being controlled by the ruling All Progress Congress.

“One of the lessons we all should take from our current experiences of emerging from elections which were rancorously contested up to the highest court in the land, is to ensure that we repay our citizens with best governance and prove to them that their confidence in us were not misplaced”, Governor Okowa counseled.

The Governor also noted that the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Taraba state Governorship Election appeal will go a long way in restoring the hope and confidence of the Nigerian people on the sanctity of the judiciary and lauded the apex court for standing firm in the defence of the law and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Governor Okowa further observed that the Supreme Court ruling affirming the decision of the appellate court, that the issue of nomination of a candidate by a political party is clearly a pre-election matter which no tribunal has the jurisdiction to entertain will go a long way in putting an end to the meddlesomeness of some political parties in the internal affairs of another party.

Governor Okowa noted that their party, the PDP, had done its best in giving them opportunity to fly its flag and charged Governor Ishaku to remain focused as his achievements in government would determine his future political career and the other legacies he would wish to be remembered for.

He thanked the people of Taraba state for standing behind their Governor and heeding his call for calm and patience all through the duration of the litigation and appealed to Tarabans to blur the lines of political differences in the interest of the development of the state.

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E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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