The Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate in the last election, Aishat Alhassan,have faulted a request by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the relocation of the election tribunal to the state.
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bilkachuwa, empowered under the constitution to constitute election tribunals in respect of disputed elections, had set up the Taraba State Governorship Tribunal in Abuja owing to security challenges in the state.
INEC, in a motion, however, challenged the sitting of the tribunal in Abuja on the ground that the tribunal ought to sit in the state where the election was held.
The electoral body also noted that the state’s legis-lative election tribunal was currently sitting in Jalingo, the state capital, praying the tribunal to relocate to the state. In a counter-argument, counsel to Alhassan and APC, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) faulted INEC’s request but wondered why INEC was more concerned about the location of the tribunal than the other respondents.
He also wondered why INEC, with its headquarters in Abuja, was not comfortable with the tribunal’s sitting in Abuja.
Magaji also argued that since INEC was, by its motion, challenging the Court of Appeal President’s exercise of her constitutional power, it should go before the Federal High Court.
While urging the tribunal to note the decisions of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers states governorship tribunals in similar motions, Magaji urged the tribunal to dismiss the motion by INEC