Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo has disqualified the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Taraba State, Alhaji Sani Danladi, from contesting Saturday’s election in the state.
The presiding judge, Justice Stephen Pam, also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and APC from recognising, accepting or treating Danladi as the candidate of APC in the governorship election.
The plaintiffs in the suit, Usman Udi; Joshua Paaku; George Geoffrey, and Tanko Muslim Munkaila, had through an originating summons dated January 9, 2019, sought for the disqualification of Danladi on the grounds that the information contained in the affidavit he swore to support his personal particulars was false.
The defendants in the suit are Abubakar Sani Danladi, who is the 1st defendant; APC and INEC, which are the 2nd and 3rd defendant, respectively.
The court held that information contained in the affidavit that Danladi was born on February 14, 1968 was in conflict with his date of birth contained in the West African Senior School Certificate he submitted to INEC, which indicates that he was born on April 3, 1977.
Justice Pam further declared as false, the information given by Danladi in the affidavit supporting his personal particulars in the INEC Form CF 001 submitted to INEC.
The court thus disqualified Danladi from contesting the gubernatorial election in the state scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 9, or any subsequent date to be slated based on the false declaration of age.
The court went further to prohibit Danladi from parading himself as the candidate of APC in the governorship election but did not make any order regarding costs.
It said: “That the 3rd defendant (INEC) is hereby restrained from recognising, accepting or treating the 1st defendant as the candidate of the 2nd defendant (APC) in the governorship election for Taraba State slated for March 9, 2019 or any other subsequent date to be slated.
“That the 2nd defendant (APC) is restrained from recognising, holding out or treating the 1st defendant as its candidate in the governorship election for Taraba State slated for March 9, 2019 or any subsequent date to be slated.
“That the 1st defendant is hereby prohibited from parading himself as the candidate of the 2nd defendant in the governorship election for Taraba State slated for March 9, 2019 or any subsequent date to be slated.”
But reacting to the judgment, the APC in the state urged its supporters to discountenance and disregard any issue or rumour regarding the eligibility of Danladi to contest the election.
In a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Aaron Artimas, the party described the judgment as mischievous and a desperate attempt by the PDP to escape defeat in the election.
The APC, however, noted that it has already taken legal steps to set aside the judgment just as it called on its members to continue with their campaigns and preparations towards the election.