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Published On: Sun, Nov 8th, 2015

Ishaku to Appeal Taraba Tribunal Verdict as PDP, Fayose Condemn Judgment

Darius Ishaku

Darius Ishaku


LAGOS NOVEMBER 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has promised to appeal the verdict of the Elections Petitions Tribunal, which nullified his election as governor even as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ekiti State Govermor, Mr Ayo Fayose condemned the judgment.
The tribunal on Saturday in Abuja quashed the victory of Ishaku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Senator Aisha Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the 2015 governorship election.
Ishaku told a news conference in Jalingo on Saturday that he would appeal the verdict.
He said he believed the Court of Appeal would reverse the judgment and give him back his victory.
Meanwhile, the verdict was greeted with mixed reactions as Alhassan’s supporters in Unguwangadi, Magami, Kasuwan-Yelwa, Sabon-Gari and Nyamu Sala areas celebrated, while others criticised it.
Alhassan’s supporters were seen on the streets chanting: “Sai Mama”, “Mama Taraba Oyoyo” to show their happiness over the verdict.
Alhaji Ahmed Umar, a resident of Jalingo, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the verdict was victory for democracy.
Also, a former senator representing Taraba Central Senatorial District, Alhaji Abubakar Tutare, said the ruling had given confidence to the common man about the judicial system.
The PDP Public Relations Officer in the state, Napoleon Adamu, told newsmen that people in the state should accept the verdict and cooperate with the winner.
However, Hariman Bovoa, the National President of Mambilla Youth Progressive Association, criticised the verdict, saying it was biased.
Also, Gibeon Kataps, former Secretary to the Taraba State Government, said Ishaku remained the governor until the determination of the case at the Court of Appeal.
The police command in the state has warned that it would deal decisively with anyone who foments trouble in any part of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Joseph Kwaji, gave the warning in an interview with NAN in Jalingo.
The police image maker said the command had put in place adequate measures to maintain peace.
Kwaji added that the command had deployed its men to Wukari, Takum, Donga and Bali to ensure peace.
In another development, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said that Saturday’s judgment of the Taraba state gubernatorial election tribunal in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hajia Aisha Jummai Alhassan is another evidence of executive interference in the judiciary.
The party said the reason given by the tribunal for arriving at its decision is intriguing and further exposes the contradictions and double standards inherent in most tribunal rulings against PDP interests recently.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said in a statement on Saturday that the Taraba state tribunal ruling again brings to the fore the organized plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC
Federal Government to deploy all unorthodox means to decimate the opposition.
“It is rather curious and a great conflict of irony that the Taraba tribunal sitting in Abuja on security grounds faulted the conduct of PDP primaries shifted to the same Abuja on security reasons”, the party stressed.
The PDP said if the tribunal is faulting the party primaries as basis for its decision, it then means that no APC gubernatorial candidate can stand the test, as their party never had acceptable primaries in any of their states.
The PDP wants democracy watchers globally to recall that it had earlier alerted the nation and the international community of the grand design by the APC to use the judiciary to wrestle some PDP states, particularly Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba States.
“Evidence that Taraba ruling was a product of Presidency manipulation can be deduced from the fact that few hours before the judgment was delivered, the APC had arrogantly announced their victory on the new media”, it said.
PDP said it is totally confounded by the brazing show of power by the executive and warned that the development clearly portends grave danger to our democracy and indeed national cohesion and development.
The party calls on its members across the country, especially in Taraba state to remain undaunted as the appellate courts will restore its well-deserved victory.
In similar vein, Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described the tribunal judgement sacking the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku as a ridiculous political judgement that can never stand before men of good conscience and God.
Governor Fayose, who maintained that there was a conspiracy by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government and a section of the judiciary against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), called on the Supreme Court to save the country from impending anarchy.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor wondered how a tribunal could make conduct of the PDP primary that produced Governor Ishaku in Abuja an issue when the tribunal itself sat in Abuja.
He said; “How does the emergence of party candidate, which is the clear internal business of the party and a pre-election matter concern the APC and the Election Tribunal?
“Isn’t it funny that it is no longer about election rigging, but technicality of how PDP candidates emerged even when no one in the PDP went to court to challenge how Governor Ishaku emerged as the PDP governorship candidate?
“If insecurity could make Taraba State Tribunal sit in Abuja and not in Jalingo, how then can it be justified that the same tribunal that sat in Abuja nullified the governor’s election because the primary election that produced him too was held in Abuja?
“Is it not being manifested in this President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government that what is good for some people may not be good for others even though we operate the same constitution?
“To me and the teeming supporters of the PDP, this judgement is one that must not be allowed to stand. It is a clear miscarriage of justice and we will seek redress from the court of men and the court of God.”
While reiterating his commitment to speaking the truth in the overall interest of Nigerians, Governor Fayose said; “If everybody is persecuted and intimidated to submission, I will remain resolute in my resolved to always say the truth before men and God.”

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