- Supreme court has declared Governor Darius Ishaku winner of the April 11 governorship election in Taraba state
- This verdict voids the judgement of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which nullified Ishaku’s election
The election of Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku of the People Democratic Party (PDP), has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
The appeal lodged by Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was unanimous dismissed by a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court, Vanguard reports.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour said: “I am of the firm view that there is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The Judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed and the election of governor Darius Ishaku is hereby upheld.”
The apex court fixed February 22, 2016 as the date when it would adduce reasons that informed the judgment.
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The judgment by the court which filtered in at about 1:30pm, was greeted with jubilation. A long motorcade mounted with speakers singing "Taraba Sai Darius," ``DDI no shaking" rented the air in major streets in Jalingo, NAN reports.
Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa, the chief press secretary to the governor, described the verdict of the Supreme Court as victory for the people.
He advised supporters of the governor not to cause security breach in the state with their celebration, while calling on the opposition party in the state to join hands with the governor to move the state forward.
On his part, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Emmanuel Bello, said the victory was an indication that the Supreme Court had the interest of the country at heart.
Also reacting, Alhaji Hassan Ardo, Taraba APC Chairman said he accepted the verdict of the apex court of the land in good faith, and urged the party supporters to remain calm.
The Taraba state governorship election petition tribunal led by Justice Danladi Abubakar had on November 7, nullified Ishaku's election and declared Alhassan the winner of the election. The three-member tribunal held that Ishaku was not validly nominated as candidate of the PDP and therefore did not qualify, from start, to contest the governorship election.
Governor Ishaku filed an appeal asking the court to set it the judgement of the state tribunal aside.
The Court of Appeal had on December 31, 2015, reversed the judgment of the Abubakar-led tribunal which nullified Ishaku’s election.
Alhassan who is currently the Minister of Women affairs, had proceeded to the apex court, asking it to set aside the verdict of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.