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Explainer: Bwacha Cannot Be On Ballot Despite Yola Appeal Court Victory

By P. D Pius esq. There are two judgments of the Federal High Court nullifying the election of Bwacha as APC candidate. There is the judgmen...

2023: 'Taraba APC, Babu Candidates, Babu Zabe'

 
•Hope Dims on Taraba APC Participation in General Election



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 Baring last minute changes, aspirants for various political offices under the All Progressives Congress APC in Taraba might be disqualified from participating in next year's general elections due to the failure of the party stakeholders to reach a consensus amongst themselves after a deeply flawed primary elections.
The crisis rocking the APC in Taraba State got messier as five governorship aspirants in the party has individually approached the court of law to seek redress over the controversial declaration of former Senate Deputy Minority leader, Emmanuel Bwacha as the winner of a primary election many says it never held.

The aspirants include, former Minister of Power, Alhaji Salleh Maman, Chief David Sabo Kente, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, a former Head of  Federal Service  Mr Danlandi Kifasi  and Dr Anthony Manzo.

Although the national leadership of the party in Abuja has urged the aspirants to reach a consensus among themselves to enable the APC participates in the 2023 elections, Taraba Truth and Facts gathered that the move as failed on Bwacha's instance on holding tight to his 'airport declaration' as winner of the governorship primary election.

 Sources in know confirmed to Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper that the governorship aspirants are yet to agree to naming Senator  Bwacha the consensus candidate in their various meeting with national leadership of the APC

They however proposed that Senator Bwacha be given a return ticket to the National Assembly, a move Bwacha strongly rejected at the meeting.

Taraba Truth and Fact Newspaper learnt that the APC chapter in Taraba  State and its national headquarters in Abuja are troubled by the development even as Senator Bwacha is insisting of winning a primary election which was not monitored by INEC as required by Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022.

 INEC sources said reports highlighting the activities leading up to the botched governorship primary in the state have been submitted by the state office to headquarters in Abuja and certified copies of the reports applied for and given to stakeholders.



 Also, the Monitoring Team from INEC, in concluding in its report, which is before the Commission's Chairman, concluded that the governorship primary did not hold because the APC Primary Election Committee, governorship aspirants and party stakeholders failed to agree on the mode of the election before the process was suspended at Taraba State Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo.

 A source narrated that INEC in Taraba State did not received directive from INEC Headquarters  that the primary election in the state will be direct.

"Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022 mandates all political parties seeking to nominate candidates for elections in Nigeria to hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions and all such primaries are to be monitored by INEC and all political parties are to give 21 days' notice to INEC, in line with Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, this guideline was never followed in Taraba"
"The APC didn't conduct any credible primary election across Taraba State. The reports of the INEC monitors from Abuja Headquarters; the Police; the DSS; other law enforcement agents and independent observers have corroborated this, there are scores of law suits against the so-called 2022 APC primary election in Taraba State, and the so called-candidates of the party at all levels in the state may be disqualified at the court, as was the case of Zamfara and Rivers in 2019. Indeed, it is trite law that you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.

"The electoral act is very clear on how  party candidates would emerged, for us in Taraba there was never  primary elections, for instance the Governorship Primary Election was never held. where was the votes collated, who witness the processes, it's a huge slap to democracy and APC that anyone would be declared as winner. Similar thing happened in Akwa Ibom and the INEC position on it is clear, if nothing is achieved before the Monday deadline for submission of names to INEC, Taraba APC would not participate in the general elections. The electoral act is explicitly clear on this.
"The same scenario played out for the national and state Assemblies primaries with confusion trailing the results that are being paraded as every aspirant claims to have won even when it was clear that the primaries never held," the source said.

Not Notifying INEC of Direct Primary Elections  In Taraba Made It Invalid-  P. D. Pius

 Pius  Danba Pius an Abuja based legal practitioner  averred  that Taraba APC may not be having any valid candidate all over the State as a result of their  'regrettable omission'  to notify INEC that they will conduct direct Primaries in Taraba State, citing the case of Zamfara State 2019 election.

 In a letter dated 30th May 2022, the Party clearly admitted it's regrettable error, omission or failure to notify INEC about any of it's purported direct Primaries in Taraba State. Unlike 2010 Electoral Act that has no punishment for failure to notify INEC, the 2022 Act renders any primaries, meeting, convention or congress without notice to INEC void.
Pius noted that Section 82 (1) of the Act requires every political party to notify INEC about the mode of primary election at least 21 days to the Primaries. In the case of direct Primaries, the register of members that will vote at the direct Primaries must have been submitted to INEC at least 30 days to the said primaries was not complied with by the APC in Taraba.

 "Giving INEC notice means that the letter must come before the event. A notice giving to you after the event is no notice at all. It's like your younger brother or sister giving you his/her wedding invitation three days after the wedding, you cannot say that you were properly invited or validly invited to witness what has already happened. 

"They are right that it was an error or human oversight. However, the soar taste of that error or omission shall not depart from their mouth. The consequences of failure to give advance notice to INEC is same under the law whether deliberate or by error or omission or human oversight. It is void. There is no room for exception, therefore Section 82 (5) renders all the Primaries without advance notice void."

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