The Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo has disqualified the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Taraba State, Alhaji Sani Danladi, from participating in the governorship election on Saturday.
But the APC has described the ruling of the court as mischievous and comical, and urged its supporters to disregard it.
Justice Steven Pam ruled against Danladi on the eligibility suit brought by Mr. Usman Udi and three others against the candidate, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The plaintiffs sought the order of the court to stop Danladi from contesting the election on the ground of false declaration of age.
According to Justice Pam, the information contained in the affidavit of the 1st defendant’s personal particulars that he was born on 14th February, 1968 was in conflict with his date of birth contained in the West African Senior School Certificate submitted by him to the 3rd defendant, the Independent National Electoral Commission which indicates that he was born on 3rd April, 1977.
“That the information given by the 1st defendant (Abubakar Sani Danladi) as to his age in the affidavit in support of his personal particulars in the INEC Form CF001 submitted to the 3rd defendant (The Independent National Electoral Commission) by him is hereby declared false.
But the APC in Taraba, in a statement said: “Court judgment disqualifying its governorship candidate in Taraba State, Sani Danladi is mischievous and comical.
“The case was filed by “some unknown persons parading as concerned citizens, who raised the issue of a purported improper declaration of age by Sani Danladi.
“The so-called concerned citizens claimed that there were discrepancies in the declaration of age as contained in Sani Danladi’s SSCE and his statutory declaration of age in the year 2000.
“However, we wish our teeming supporters to note that this issue had been taken to court in the year 2007 and was subsequently dismissed by the Appeal Court. It should also be noted that all judgments passed by the Appeal Court supersede those of the lower courts in the whole country.
“There also legal process involved in the substitution of candidates by INEC and therefore a court judgment does not automatically translate to disqualification to contest an election.
“By this explanation, we are calling on all law-abiding citizens and APC members throughout the state to remain calm and discountenance or disregard any issue or rumour regarding the eligibility of His Excellency to contest Saturday’s Gubernatorial Elections.
“Legal steps have already commenced to set aside this mischievous judgment which we view as another desperate attempt by agents of the PDP and the state government to escape defeat on Saturday.
“All APC members are hereby called upon to continue with their campaigns and preparations towards the elections. All our agents are also hereby directed to ensure that they dutifully accompany all sensitive materials and to ensure their distributions to all designated voting areas.”