By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Taraba state election Tribunal sitting in Abuja has ruled that the President of the Court of Appeal has power to exercise constitutional power by moving any tribunal to any part of the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This has put paid to the motion by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the relocation of the election tribunal back to Taraba State.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Musa Abubakar, in his ruling yesterday, held that the relocation of the tribunal has no adverse effect on the parties involved in the case.
Abubakar therefore stated that the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has acted within the provision of the law particularly for the security of the parties and the legal officers.
Justice Abubakar having noted that Taraba state is one of the states facing insurgency crisis, emphasised that the constitutional issue raised by the INEC can only be handled by a regular court.
Speaking after the ruling, Counsel to Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, Kanu Agabi (SAN), notified the court that there is another preliminary objection before the court challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
The INEC had challenged the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja, arguing that the tribunal ought to sit in the state where the April 11 gubernatorial election was held. The umpire also noted that the state’s legislative election tribunal is currently sitting in Jalingo, the state capital.
The petitioners: Taraba State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April election, Hajia Aisha Alhassan and her party, are challenging the outcome of the election won by Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the view that the election was marred by irregularities.
The tribunal has also adjourned August 4, for subsequent sitting and ruling on jurisdiction.
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