Taraba: Aisha Alhassan Loses At Court Of Appeal, Court Say She Has No Right To Challenge Ishaku
A Court of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, has stated that Aisha Alhassan and the All Progressives Congress have no right to challenge the election in which Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party emerged since none of them are members of the PDP.
The court has also dismissed arguments by the appellant that the Tribunal should have accepted the statements of the witnesses because they were not properly signed.
Thus, the appellant argued, the Tribunal should have struck out the petition. The court held that the statements upon examination, were properly signed and stamped by the Secretary to the Tribunal who statutorily was the head of the registry of the Tribunal.
The Appellate Court held that the petitioner fully complied with all statutory stipulations for filing of statement of witnesses and that the Tribunal was right to have accepted them. The court also argued that it will amount to great injustice if the petitioner is held responsible for the mistake of the registry of the Tribunal.
Also, the court dismissed arguments by the appellant that the reliefs sought by the petitioner are incongruent. The appellant had argued that the petitioner cannot be claiming that the election was marred by malpractices and at the same time, asking to be declared winner of the election. The court ruled that reliefs sought by the petitioner are congruous and consistent with one another.
The Court has ruled that the method of nomination is not one of the grounds for disqualification of a candidate for the election as stated in the constitution and the electoral act. It also ruled that the issue of PDP primary which produced Ishaku was a pre-election matter that should not have been entertained by the Tribunal.
The court also ruled that only INEC and members of PDP who participated in the primary election has the right to complain. The Court said whether the primary of a political party was done right or not cannot be subject of an election petition. The court said the most important question was whether the appellant was a member of PDP and was sponsored by the party for the gubernatorial. The court ruled that Ishaku was validly nominated candidate of PDP for the election and he participated in the election.
The court has ruled that Darius Ishaku was qualified to contest election of Taraba State as at the time of the election having been duly nominated by the PDP. The issue of conduct of primary, the court said is a domestic matter of a political party which the other party cannot benefit from.