The Court of Appeal will tomorrow hear the appeal filed by Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking the appellate court to set aside the Taraba Tribunal ruling which sacked him and handed the governorship to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aisha Alhassan.
The tribunal sacked Ishaku on the ground that the PDP did not hold a proper primary that threw him up as the candidate.
The Court of Appeal in Yola, Adamawa State, usually entertains appeals from Taraba. But like the tribunal which sat throughout in Abuja on security concerns, the Court of Appeal is treating Ishaku’s appeal in Abuja.
In Jalingo –Taraba’s capital, there was a calm anxiety over the case yesterday. No discussions were without a mention of the case.
The legal counsel to Ishaku and Alhassan will tomorrow adopt their written addresses or briefs of arguments, from where the court will fix a date for ruling.
The Court of Appeal has received four notices of appeal; three filed by the governor’s legal team, headed by Joseph Dauda, and a cross-appeal filed by Alhassan’s counsel Mahmud Magaji, (SAN).
The tribunal headed by Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar on November 7, proclaimed Alhassan, now Minister for Women Affairs, who scored the second highest votes, as the rightful winner of the election.
The tribunal upheld Alhassan’s argument that Ishaku was not qualified to contest the April 11, 2015 governorship election because the primary held by his party fell short of the conditions stipulated by Sections 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act (2A) 2010.
It faulted the shifting of the party’s primary to Abuja and ruled that the governor was not validly nominated and sponsored by his party.
But Ishaku cried foul, that the tribunal left the crux of the litigation and delved into a pre-election matter that was not within its purview.
He challenged that the ruling APC was using the federal might and manipulating the judiciary to atrociously execute a coup to take over Taraba State through the back door.
Governor Ishaku told The Nation that he saw “contradictions and great conflict of irony” in the ruling when the tribunal challenged the validity of holding the PDP primary in Abuja but also sat in the same Abuja to pass judgment.
“A sad aspect of the tribunal ruling, which is like an accidental discharge, is that the APC supporters rejoiced the victory a day before judgment was passed the following day, and it went viral on the social media several hours before the ruling was concluded.”
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