Taraba Election Tribunal: Can Darius Ishaku scale the Hurdles?

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By Our Roving Correspondent
The April Gubernatorial Election of Taraba State may have come and gone as the saying goes, but the dust it generated in its wake is yet to settle as one of the gladiators in the contest, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan who felt shortchanged by the conduct of the People’s Democratic Party is set to thwart the victory of the ruling PDP via the election Petition Tribunal.
The case deposed by Hajiya Jummai Alassan the amazon of Taraba State popularly christened “Mama Taraba” has been generating ripples and causing the PDP and it’s main beneficiary Darius Ishaku to have running sleepless nights as the subterfuge and electoral heist they committed was about to be unearthed.
Pundits in the legal circle have continue to tell anybody that cares to listen that the victory of Alhassan in the tribunal is only a matter of time as she has presented convincing evidences that every jury worth his salt may not ignore no matter the influence of the forces working against the suit aimed to topple the apple cart hoisted on Taraba state by the PDP.
A legal practitioner who has been keenly following the case, Barrister Suday Maikarfi having been satisfied by the water proof evidences presented by Alassan enthused “From the point of law and evidences on ground, I believe there is no obstacle between Alhassan and Taraba State Government House no matter the negative influences unless if the judges wanted to muddle up their hard earned reputation in the murky waters of partisanship.
“From the point of law I believe Alhassan has done her home work right but you know in the law profession the judges can come up with their discretionary proclivities to suit their interest and that is where we always got it wrong in the profession.
“But I can confidently tell you that the convincing evidences against the misconduct of PDP and it’s gubernatorial candidate during the election will make it difficult for the judge to exercise his discretionary powers negatively,” he said.
He noted that been privy to the issues raised by Aisha Alhassan, he was in the know that she was challenging the conduct of the PDP primaries and also the surfeit of electoral malpractices perpetrated during the April polls which by hook or crook led to the emergence of Darius Ishaku who was the preferred candidate of a seeming indispensable power monger in the state.
“Alhassan was wise to brought up the issue of the PDP primaries which was a travesty of internal democracy just to suit the ego of one personality who felt that he must lord it against all of us in the state.
“Relevant sections of the constitution has made it compulsory that a candidate must have a political platform and that political platform must conduct party primaries before the candidate must emerge.
“The statutes also stipulated that the party primaries must be conducted in the state capital unlike what happens in the case of PDP who went as far as Abuja to conduct its primaries because it was glaring that if the primaries were conducted in state capital, certain preferred candidates will not make it at the polls,” he said.
Maikarfi further posited that in order states, the PDP has been badly bruised over the non conduct of the party primaries citing Borno state as an example where the favorite candidate of former governor Ali Modu Sherrif was changed at the 11th hour to the April gubernatorial polls.
“The case of the Borno PDP misadventure was just a tip of the iceberg, many cases at courts of appeal and even supreme courts involving lack of adherence to party primaries have been resolved against the candidates whom were unduly favored by the illicit exercise and the same will apply in Taraba state,” he added.
Like Maikarfi, another legal luminary, Mshellia Takum said the widely reported violence that marred the election, may constitute serious obstacle against the victory of Darius Ishaku.
Mshellia Takum, had opined that evidences particularly the electoral violence deliberately orchestrated by the PDP and it’s sponsors has greatly affected the integrity of the exercise, “because prospective voters belonging to APC were visibly manhandled and prevented to exercise their franchise in many local governments.
“The atrocities if well and presented to the Election Petition Tribunal, will definitely quashed the purported victory of the PDP”Takum further argues.
It was on record that the electoral heist was committed in over 200 units across the state as glaring evidences obtained from the data bank of INEC shows consistency in disagreement between accredited voters, card readers and electoral sheets presented by the INEC staffs who superintended the election in Taraba state.
As if to corroborate the position of Maikarfi, and others during a chat with newsmen when she led a powerful APC delegation on a courtesy call on governor Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindowo, Alhassan reiterated that she will soon reclaim her mandate from the PDP as she was the authentic winner of the election.
Alhassan stated that she would go ahead to prosecute her case to the latter despite the looming threat on her life and that of her teeming supporters adding that no amount of intimidation, pressure or threat can make her cow or surrender her legitimate right to anyone.
She reiterated that had the election not been rigged, she would have been the Governor of Taraba state saying that as a result of the confidence she has in the judiciary she believed the judgement will be upturned in her favor.
Alhassan added that she never at any point contemplate withdrawing her case adding that “I believed that I won that election because Taraba people came out and cast their votes for me.
“It is uncharitable for anyone to say that I have withdrawn my case and God’s willing, I will reclaim my mandate in tandem with the wishes of Taraba people,” she said.
She said the PDP camp got rattled as Darius Ishaku flee in order to avoid notice of service by the tribunal which led to the delay of the service but the tribunal later came to their rescue after she gave them orders to paste the notice of service on the Governor.
“Darius and his group ran away when we approached the tribunal to avoid notice of service but thankfully the tribunal has ordered the notice of service to be pasted which we have done,” she said.

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