Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Aminu Abdullahi Alkali has expressed optimism that the People’s Democratic Party PDP and governor Kefas Agbu will emerge victorious in a legal battle against them at the Supreme Court.
The New Nigeria People’s Party NNPP and its governorship candidate, Prof Yahaya Sani are contesting the victory of the governor and PDP in the last year March 18 gubernatorial election in Taraba State.
The Deputy Governor, who was at the Apex Court on Wednesday to witness proceedings in an appeal filed by NNPP and Sani said that the coast has appeared very clear for the two respondents to be victorious.
He praised the transparent and unambiguous ways and manners proceedings at the Supreme Court are being conducted adding that the court has shown that there can never be miscarriage of justice.
The position of the Deputy Governor followed the request by the lead counsel to governor Agbu and PDP, Kanu Agabi SAN to the apex court to either strike out the case the appellants or dismiss it outrightly.
Agabi who led a retinue of senior lawyers told Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun led panel of five Justices that the case of the NNPP and its governorship candidate was lacking in merit and substance.
He said that the appeal of the appellants was grossly incompetent to be considered because of the several flaws in the way the case was couched and presented at the Apex Court.
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC adopted the arguments canvassed by the governor’s lawyer in resolving the dispute on the governorship election.
However, lead counsel to the NNPP and Sani, Olusegun Jolaawo SAN appealed to the Justices to allow the case of his clients and grant all the reliefs they are praying.
The Court of Appeal had in Abuja affirmed the election of PDP and Kefas Agbu as Governor of Taraba State.
The three-member panel of the appellate court in two separate appeals held that Agbu, was lawfully declared winner of the March 18 governorship election in Taraba State.
The appellate court held that the allegations of non-compliance, irregularities and other malpractices were not proved by the appellants in line with the provisions of the law.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Peter Affen, the appellate court had faulted the appellants for dumping documents on the court, stressing that even if there was manifest incidents of malpractices or irregularities on the face of the documents, the appellants ought to have led oral evidence to support the allegations.
Besides, the court of appeal had dismissed the appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit on grounds that the record of proceedings transmitted to the appellate court was not complete.
It will be recalled that a three-man panel of justices led by Justice G. A. Sunmonu of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had on September 30 dismissed the petition filed by the NNPP and its governorship candidate for lacking in merit.