Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Seeking to Annul Ishaku’s Election

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Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

The Appeal Court sitting in Yola has dismissed the suit filed by a gubernatorial aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief David Sabo Kente, seeking to declare the emergence of Darius Ishaku as candidate of the party in the 2015 gubernatorial election null and void.

Besides Ishaku, the applicant in the case is also seeking to declare all the candidates of the party for the various political offices as illegal and therefore seek for a fresh primaries.
Delivering judgment in the case which also has PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as respondents, Justice Biobelle Abraham Georgewill, declared the suit as lacking in merit.

In dismissing the suit, the judge held that the prayers and reliefs sought by the appellant were inconsistent with the grounds of appeal and therefore declared the suit as incompetent.
THISDAY gathered that supporters of former acting governor of the state, Alhaji Garba Umar, led by former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Gavey Yawe, thronged the court in solidarity with Kente.

Also, in dismissing the suit, Justice Georgewill awarded N100,000 as cost against the applicant in favour of the respondents.
Meanwhile, reacting to the judgment, spokesperson of delegates elected from the 168 Wards of the state for the purpose of the state congress, Bala Hamed, has described the judgment as unacceptable.

In a statement made available to THISDAY in Jalingo, Bala Ahmed said the judgment failed to return delegates rights to lawfully elect candidates that would represent their party in an election.

He maintained that PDP members in Taraba State were clearly and brazenly denied their right to elect candidates of their choice for the 2015 general election, adding that several elections had been nullified based on irregular conduct of primary elections conducted by the PDP.

Insisting that the judgment was highly tainted, he stated: “The delegates will seek redress at the Supreme Court because nothing can supersede the rights of party members through their elected delegates to elect their candidates for an election,”

However, countering Hamed’s claims, the Legal Adviser to PDP in the state, Siman Musa, hailed the judgment, saying it was victory for democracy.

Musa, who enjoined opposition elements in the state to join hands with the state governor to move the state forward, described the suit as a waste of time and resources, stressing that the state government cannot afford to dissipate energy on litigation when it is expected to settle down and deliver dividends of democracy to the people.