The Taraba Governorship Election Tribunal, on Saturday, nullified the election of Governor Darius Ishaku.
The tribunal ruled that all the votes Ishaku secured at the election was invalid, and ordered that the All Progressives Congress candidate, Aisha Alhassan, who scored the second highest votes at the poll, should be sworn-in as the winner of the governorship election in Taraba.
Below are the 3 key reasons the tribunal used in supporting its judgement.
1. The Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar-led tribunal said Ishaku was not validly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party to contest the election. The tribunal said there was overwhelming evidence that the PDP in Taraba sidelined the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, and the 1999 Constitution, as amended, when it decided to hold the primary election that produced Ishaku as its candidate in Abuja instead of Jalingo, the state capital. Hence, the nomination of the governor for the election, without a valid primary election monitored by INEC, was in breach of Sections 85, 87 and 138(1) of the Electoral Act 2010, as well as Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
2. The tribunal held that the PDP failed to give tangible and verifiable reason why it decided to hold the said primary election in Abuja without the consent of INEC. The panel said it was a fundamental law in Nigeria that a candidate for an elective position must be duly nominated and sponsored by a registered political party before the candidature of such person could be deemed to be legally valid. It said that the proof of evidence, adduced before it by all the parties, showed that the PDP did not conduct a valid primary election that could have led to the emergence of anybody as its sponsored candidate for the governorship contest.
3. The tribunal also stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission confirmed that it was not part of the primary election that produced Ishaku as the PDP candidate, saying Section 85 of the Electoral Act made it mandatory that PDP must give the electoral body 21 days notice before it could hold a convention or primary to nominate its governorship candidate.