The Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the election materials used to conduct the April 11 governorship election, for inspection by petitioners.
Sen. Aisha Alhassan of APC, the petitioner, had approached the tribunal, seeking to nullify the election of Gov. Darius Ishaku.
Alhassan had joined APC as co-petitioners, as well as PDP and INEC as co-respondents.
Delivering ruling on a motion ex-parte filed by the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Musa Abubakar, ordered INEC to produce the materials within 21 days for inspection.
Justice Abubakar said: “The application dated and filed on June 23, 2015, is meritorious and it is hereby, granted as prayed.
“It is, hereby, ordered that the 3rd respondents produce the election materials which were used in conducting the governorship election in Taraba within 21 days for inspection by the petitioners.’’
At Tuesday’s sitting, it was slated for the hearing of an ex-parte application seeking a court order extending time within which the petitioners could inspect the election materials.
The petitioners’ counsel, Mr Muzzammil Yahaya, who stood in for Magaji, had moved the motion accompanied by an 11-paragraph affidavit deposed to by him, and a written address, in chamber.
The application, he said, was brought pursuant to the provisions of Paragraph 45 (1) (2) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended.
Yahaya argued that the petitioners were unable to comply with a June 11 order of the court on same issue, due to the respondents’ non-compliance within the 14 days earlier ordered, which had elapsed.
He, therefore, prayed for a leave of the tribunal granting a court order extending time within which the petitioners could inspect the election materials accordingly.
It would be recalled that Alhassan had alleged in her petition that the election which produced Ishaku as Taraba governor was fraught with gross irregularities and other forms of election malpractices.
She had, therefore, urged the tribunal to nullify the election and declare her the winner and governor of Taraba.