A Federal High Court in Jalingo has disqualified the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Sani Danladi, from contesting in Saturday’s Taraba governorship elections over a conflict concerning the details he gave as his date of birth. The presiding judge, Justice Stephen Pam, directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and APC against recognizing, accepting or treating Danladi as the APC candidate.
The problem: The court held that information contained in the affidavit that Danladi was born on February 14, 1968, was in conflict with his date of birth contained in the West African Senior School Certificate he submitted to INEC, which indicates that he was born on April 3, 1977. Justice Pam further declared as false, the information given by Danladi in the affidavit supporting his personal particulars in the INEC Form CF 001 submitted to INEC.
Backstory: A suit dated January 9, 2019, had been filed for the disqualification of Danladi on the grounds that the information contained in the affidavit he swore to support his personal particulars was false. The suit was filed by Usman Udi; Joshua Paaku; George Geoffrey, and Tanko Muslim Munkaila.
How the APC reacted: The party urged its supporters to “reject and disregard any issue or rumour” regarding the eligibility of Danladi to contest the election.
In a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Aaron Artimas, the party said it will contest the judgement which it described as mischievous and a desperate attempt by the PDP to escape defeat in the election.
Bottom Line: Danladi is likely going to be on the ballot in Taraba because the party aims to appeal. Before he clears the next hurdle of the Appeal Court, he would have to navigate Saturday’s election where he is going against the PDP incumbent, Darius Ishaku. His disqualification however follows a trend in this election in which several guber candidates have been disqualified by the court. Rivers APC represents the worst case because the party has taken its case up to the Supreme Court and lost, but there have also been rulings against the APC in Cross River, Enugu and Zamfara (which has been overturned), while the PDP has suffered a similar setback in Kano.