Following the April 11th governorship elections in Taraba State, the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday nullified the election of Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party. The Tribunal further declared the election of Senator Aisha Alhassan, a Minister of the Federal Republic and a member of the All Progressives Congress.
The three member tribunal stated that the governorship primaries conducted by the PDP in the state violated sections 78 (b) (1) (2) of the Electoral Act, which guides parties nomination to the position of the governorship candidate. Contrary to the provision of the section, the PDP conducted their primaries at their national secretariat in Abuja with no clear delegation from the Local Government Areas in the state. The tribunal sustained that the head of INEC was not aware of any primaries conducted by the party in line with the provision of the Electoral Act, which announced Ishaku as the winner of the primaries.
So what exactly is stated in section 78 (b) (1) (2) of the Electoral Act? This act states:
- Hold special congress in each of the Local Government Areas of the States with delegates voting for each of the aspirants at the congress to be held in designated centres on specified dates.
- The aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of voting shall be declared the winner of the primaries of the party and the aspirants name shall be forwarded to the commission as the candidate of the party, for the particular state.
The tribunal therefore challenged the PDP stating that there were no primaries within the state and the emergence of Ishaku through the purported election in Abuja was after the given time for party primaries. Furthermore, Ishaku was not duly sponsored by the PDP and therefore the party had no candidate in the governorship election in the eyes of the law. Therefore, the votes of the PDP were wasted and Aisha Alhassan is the true winner of the April elections in Taraba State.
Congratulations to “Mama Taraba” – this was definitely a well deserved win, a true act of democracy and we are happy to see the first female Governor of the Federal Republic.