Supreme Court Affirms Ishaku As Taraba Governor

The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed that Mr Diarus Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Taraba.

 

The Justice Bode-Rhodes Vivor-led six justices of the Supreme Court held that the appeal lacked merit.

 

“We have studied and reviewed the submissions of all the counsel to parties in this appeal and found that there is no merit in the appeal. The decision of the Court of Appeal on this matter is hereby upheld.

 

The reasons for the decision would be adduced on Feb.22 and parties are to bear their costs,’’ he held.

 
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Aisha Alhassan, candidate of the All Progressives Congress had her victory in the election upturned by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

 
Aisha approached the apex court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal.

 

While adopting his address, Mr Abiodu Owonikoko (SAN), Counsel to Alhassan, argued that Ishiaku’s nomination and sponsorship fell below Section 177(c) of the Constitution.

 

NAN reports that that Section of the Constitution set out the requisite elements to meet before an aspirant could become a candidate.

 

Owonikoko submitted that PDP failed to conduct the governorship primaries, adding that Ishiaku’s nomination was a “kangaro arrangement’’.

 

Meanwhile, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Mr Solo AKuma (SAN), and Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), Counsel to Ishiaku, PDP and INEC, respectively, urged the court to discountenance Owonikoko’s submission.

 

They contended that the conduct and qualification of a candidate to contest elective position were sole right of the political parties.
They said the qualification of Ishiaku was not in dispute within the party, adding that APC and Alhassan lacked the “locus standi’’ to raise objection on how Ishiaku emerged.

Daudu said: “My Lords the commission has on many platforms held that the primaries that selected Ishiaku as the party’s candidate was properly conducted in Wadata House Abuja’’.

 

They, therefore, jointly prayed the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.

 

(NAN)

TRANSCRIPT – Read What Mama Taraba Said To The Parents Of Chibok Girls Yesterday

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba, yesterday at the State House in Abuja received a delegation of the parents of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram and members of the BringBackOurGirls movement led by Dr Oby Ezekwesili. Below is the full transcript of her speech at that meeting.

I want to tell you here, maybe there is information that you do not know. When Mr. President made the promises he made to you, he did not just make them, went back and sit without doing anything.

Mr. President is not that kind of person; we all know. Mr. President with all of us have been on deck, working to see that our children are brought back.

The security people who are making effort to make sure we bring back our girls alive are all here with us. and everything Mr. President is doing is to give them directives to work towards bringing back our girls alive. And that he has done, he has given then instruction, the mandate to bring back our girls alive.

And they have been working; they will tell you by themselves what they have been doing. But mind you, I need to tell you that this is a security issue. It is not everything they are doing that they are going to tell us, including me. Because of operational whatever, they will tell you.

On the part of social networking which is under my ministry; the Ministry of Women affairs and social development. I have been directed and I have spoken with the Honourable member representing Chibok in the House of reps, I have told her the effort we have made on the instruction of Mr. President. And I have spoken with my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf on it, I had looked for my Sister, Dr. Oby on the issue to tell her what we have done, what we are still doing and what we intend to do – I did, before the Christmas. It is not as if Mr. President made the promise to you and went and sat down.

I have been instructed to open a Chibok Girls’ office which will serve as a liaison office between you and the government. I have been instructed to do that and I have informed my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf that I have done that and we have a Deputy Director heading the office – just one office on Chibok girls issue to show you how important the issue is to the government. The government can never open an office for just one single item. But that has been done, that is one.

Secondly, we have been drawing programmes, I had told the representative of Chibok in the house of Rep and I had told my namesake Hadjia Yussuf of the programme that we intended to do before Christmas. But it was too tight and we decided we should have it during the Christmas period and we should wait until after the New Year. And we still intend to have that programme, and the programme is one of…

So, for us my Dear Sisters and Brothers from Chibok and my sisters and brothers from the movement, It is like you feel the government is insensitive to this cause, because if the government is, when you hear the things that are being done from the security agencies, the little that they can tell you because they can’t tell you everything that is being done to bring back the girls, that is one, and secondly you have heard that this is what we have done and thank God I had informed the leadership of the movement, Hadjia Aisha Yussuf, and even the member of the house of Rep representing you that “this” is what we have done so far on the social welfare part and “this” is what we intend to do. I told them and I write a letter at the time. But you (Hadjia Aisha Yussuf) told me that we should take it to the Unity Fountain, that we will meet you. My officer went there 3 times without meeting any member of the group. But I said well, it was Christmas and New Year period.

I have no reason to lie to you, if I didn’t do it, I will tell you I didn’t do it. Because we wrote a letter, they went there three times because I had actually told your leader Mrs Aisha Yussuf that I was going to write a letter and I asked her I wanted an address to which I should send the letter, and you told me to send it to the Unity Fountain. If I didn’t intend to write a letter, I wouldn’t have looked for your number, called you and asked where to deliver the letter. Because your people are shouting that “it’s not true, It’s not true” and I have no reason to lie to anybody here.

So, my brother and Sister, the government has not left you, the government has not rescinded on the promises they made to you for you to say you are going to sit here until Mr. President comes. With due respect, I think it’s not nice enough because in the first place, Mr. President is a busy person and he has a schedule. If we had been told earlier than you told us, we would have made Mr. President present here and speaking to you. We still intend to have that programme we didn’t have at the end of the year so that Mr President can be there to see you and talk to you.

What Mr. President will tell you is not more than what he told you before that we are making effort and the promises that he made which he had directed us and the security people to do, so I plead with you to talk with us, Mr. President sent us here, the Minister of Defense is here, the National Security Officer is here, the Chief of Defense staff is here, I am here on the social welfare part representing the government. I think Mr. president has done especially with the short notice that you have given for today’s programme. Today is your programme and it is not too good to say you will just come and very short notice and see the President, so I am begging you, I’m pleading with you to agree to see us. Tell us whatever you can, whatever you want to tell us. and we will tell you what the government is doing. So that when we arrange that programme, Mr. President can still come see you tell you what the govt is doing, and we can still tell you what the government is doing because these are the officers responsible for bringing back the girls and we want them back alive.

And the social welfare aspect, I am responsible. My ministry is responsible, I have the office, I have the desk, the desk officer is here, Mrs Bulus,

(to Mrs Bulus) can you come forward please?

Mrs Bulus is the Deputy Director and in the letter we write to you, we gave her number, my number, you have our numbers and we say you can reach us 24/7 on whatever you want to find out. we are the liaison, that office in the Ministry of Women Affairs is the liaison between the government, you the group, and the parents. And we said 24 hours you can call us, 7 days a week.

You can call us at any time and ask your questions or tell your grievances to us and we will forward it to the government. Ok?

So, I will now hand over to the Minister of Defense, to tell you… and in the budget for this year we have planned mobile consulting clinics to be visiting you, to be counselling you, to be talking with you so that you can feel some relief before our children are brought back. We pray that we get them today but it’s not within our making, these children have been gone long before this government came to power, and you have heard promises. We don’t want to bring them as corpses to you to bury. We want to bring them alive, and we have to go slowly to make sure that they are brought alive.

Taraba Guber: Ishaku Woos APC Members With Political Appointments, Urges Them To Accept His Confirmation As Governor

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba on Sunday promised to appoint members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state into political positions.

 
He urged them to accept his confirmation as governor by the Court of Appeal and work with him for development of the state.

 
Ishaku made these remarks in Jalingo while addressing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyalists who congratulated him over the victory.

 
The court had upheld the election of Ishaku of the PDP and set aside the state Elections Petitions Tribunal declaration of Sen. Aisha Alhassan of APC as the governor.

 

According to him, there are “many jobs” in his government that can go round the APC members.

 

 

He noted that the series of litigations that followed the April 11, 2015, governorship election had slowed down the pace of development of the state by 30 per cent.

 
“I am calling on all APC members to accept this judgment and come so that we can work together for the socio-economic development of our dear state.

 

“Sincerely speaking, I have so many jobs to share with them. Let them come.

 
“My mandate is for four years but we have spent many months in the court. These litigations are not helping the state,” Ishaku said.

 
The governor said his immediate focus after the victory was to consolidate his effort of bringing peace and development to the state.

 
“I deliberately informed our supporters to celebrate our victory in confinement as against wild jubilation that could trigger violence.

 
“I am glad to hear from the security chiefs here that not a single person was hurt before and after the delivery of the verdict.

 
“My priority remains to develop the state as you can all attest to the fact that there is massive improvement in water and electricity supply in Jalingo.

 
“We intend to now expand our operations to other council areas, focusing more on health and education,” Ishaku said.

 
Earlier, the state PDP Chairman, Mr Victor Bala, said the judgment indicated that the PDP had reclaimed its mandate.

 

 

Credit : Today.ng

Court Of Appeal Upholds Election Of Gov. Ishaku Of Taraba

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday declared that Gov. Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was validly elected in the April gubernatorial elections in Taraba.

 

 

The appellate court set aside the Nov. 7 judgment of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for the state which had declared Sen. Aisha Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election.

 

 

The court of appeal panel of five justices, presided over by Justice Abdul Aboki, held that the decision of the tribunal was a nullity.

 

 

Specifically, the appellate court said the tribunal erred in law in its decision that Ishaku was not validly nominated by his party and not qualified ab-initio to contest the April 11 governorship election.

 

 

“We have duly read the submissions made by parties to the appeal and found out that the tribunal erred in its decision.

 

The Electoral Act and in fact the constitution have not given such power to the tribunal to annul the victory of the appellant on the ground of improper conduct of primaries by his party.

 

The PDP has admitted to have sponsored the appellant in its deposition. Therefore, the argument of the APC and its candidate of non-qualification of the PDP candidate are baseless,’’ he said.

 

 

Aboki said that INEC and any aggrieved contestant in the primaries of the party were the ones that had the locus standi to challenge the conduct of the primaries.

 

“INEC is superintendent when it comes to issues of who is qualified to contest an election not the respondent.

 

 

Respondents have no locus standi in this matter. They cannot challenge the primaries because none of them is a member of the PDP.”

 

 

The court further held that nomination of candidate for an election was a domestic affair of a political party and the court had no jurisdiction to interfere in it.

 

 

Aboki held that the appellant met all the statutory conditions to contest the election.

 

 

“By the provision of the Electoral Act, the appellant is a citizen of Nigeria; he has attained the mandatory age of 35 years and he is a bona-fide member of a registered political party – PDP.

 

 

The appellant was sponsored by a registered political party and he has the minimum educational qualification of School Certificate or equivalent,’’ he said.

 

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that four other cross-appeals filed by parties were ruled in favour of Ishaku.

 

 

In one of the cross appeals, APC contended that the PDP candidate did not score the mandatory 25 per cent in two-third of the 16 local government areas of the state.

 

 

Justice Aboki, however, dismissed the argument, holding that it was not supported by documentary evidence from the card reader used in the election.

 

He also held that the relief was an after thought because it was not contained in the processes filed before the tribunal.

 

“This appellate court will not allow any fresh matter to be introduced at this juncture. The pleading is hereby struck out for it is academic,’’ the justice said.

 

Speaking to newsmen after the session, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), counsel to Ishaku, expressed delight in the outcome of the appeal.

 

“We know right from time that injustice was done to our client by his removal by the tribunal,’’ he said.

 

 

On his part, Mr Mahmud Magaji (SAN), Counsel to Al-Hassan, said the decision would be further tested at the Supreme Court.

 

 

“We still hold that the governor was not qualified to contest that election,’’ he said.

 

 

(NAN)

Mama Taraba To Challenge Governorship Result At Tribunal

The All Progressives Congress candidate in the just-concluded governorship election in Taraba, Aisha Alhassan, has rejected the results of the poll as announced by INEC on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in Jalingo shortly after the announcement of the results, Mrs. Alhassan described the entire elections process as “daylight robbery.”

She said the party would challenge the results in the elections petitions tribunal. “The combined governorship elections in Taraba were characterised by violence, massive rigging, ballot snatching and abuse of the card readers in substantial parts of the state by the PDP and their allies,” she said.

She said the results of Wukari, Donga, Takum, Sardauna, Zing, Yorro, Kurmi and some parts of Ussa, Karim-Lamido, Bali, Ardo-Kola and Lau local government areas were not acceptable as they did not reflect the true results of the election in Taraba. Mrs. Alhassan said all the complaints on the irregularities and abuse of the election guidelines were promptly reported to INEC, but no action was taken.

The INEC Returning Officer for Taraba, Kyari Mohammed, who declared the results on Sunday in Jalingo, said Darius Ishaku scored 369,318 votes to emerge victorious. He said Mr. Alhassan came second with 275,984 votes, while David Kente of the Social Democratic Party polled 29, 966 votes. If Mrs. Alhassan had been elected, she would have been the first elected female state governor in Nigeria.

Credit: NAN