The opposition in Taraba state has no clear path to any electoral victory in 2019 from all indications, especially with its monumental judicial loss at the local government polls tribunal. This assertion was made by the PDP chairman of the state, Hon. Victor Bala Kona.
Kona was reacting to the landslide victory of the PDP in the ongoing appeal before the tribunal in Jalingo on the 25 February, 2017 held election. The PDP has so far won ten cases out of the 16 before the tribunal. The cases cover all the issues sorrounding the conduct of the local government election for chairmanship and counsellors.
In some of the cases, the petitioners are saying elections did not hold or there was massive rigging. But the tribunal has ruled that the petitioners couldn’t prove their case. The PDP, said the tribunal, defended its victory convincingly.
Describing the victory as a plus for jurisprudence, PDP leading counsel for the chairmen and counsillors, Barr. John Okezie, said the petitioners lost because they could not provide any reasonable grounds for their cases. He said the opposition case lacks merit, even as he says the verdicts would further solidify democracy as the best form of representation. He noted that the people made their choice in the election and that the tribunal did well by upholding the people’s preference.
Bala, in his reaction, noted that opposition in Taraba has failed to capture the masses’s interest. He said that from all indications, the electorate are satisfied with the progress recorded by the PDP government.
The opposition APC had gone to the tribunal with all sorts of accusations after the local government election. The victory of Wukari, Donga, Yorro and Karim Lamido chairmen were challenged. Various councillors positions were also in contest. But 10 of such cases out of the 16 brought before the tribunal has been lost by the APC. As it stands, the chairmen of Wukari, Donga, Karim Lamido and Yorro have sailed through.
The tribunal which started sitting on the 19th April, 2017, dismissed the suits of Akate, Fada and Gyattaaure wards. The Sunkani ward suit was withdrawn by the petitioners.
While Hon. Ephraim Asha led the North Central zone tribunal, Hon. Hamidu Audu was chairman of the Southern zone tribunal. The remaining six cases would come up for ruling on the 15th May, 2017.