May 20, 2024

The supreme court has reserved judgment in the appeal seeking to void the sack of Caleb Mutfwang as governor of Plateau state.

On November 19, the court of appeal in Abuja sacked Mutfwang as governor of the state.

After parties adopted their respective briefs on Tuesday, a five-member panel of the supreme court led by John Okoro, said the date for judgment will be communicated to parties.

On March 20, Idris Amali, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer in Plateau, announced Mutfwang as the winner of the election having scored 525,299 votes, while Nentawe Yilwatda, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got 481,370 votes.

According to the results, the PDP won in 10 LGAs, including Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Langtang north, Langtang south, Riyom, Mikang, Mangu, Jos East, Qua’an Pan and Pokkos.

Not satisfied with the results, Yilwatda and his party filed a petition challenging the outcome of the election.

Delivering judgment, the tribunal led by Rita Irele-Ifijeh, held that the issues raised by the petitioners on party structure were pre-election matters, noting that Yilwatda and APC lacked the locus standi to challenge it.

The tribunal also held that PDP held a repeat congress on September 25, 2021, in compliance with the order of a Jos high court delivered by S.P. Gang, the judge.

Aggrieved by the tribunal’s judgment, the APC and its candidate filed an appeal.

The appellate court’s panel held that the PDP violated the court order that a valid congress be conducted in the 17 LGAs of Plateau.

The court said the party conducted congress in only five LGAs of the state “which amounted to a nullity”.

The court of appeal, while dismissing the decision of the tribunal, held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter, contrary to the panel’s conclusion that the appellant lacked the locus standi to contest the validity of the respondent.

The court also agreed that Mutfwang was not properly sponsored by the PDP.

At the supreme court hearing on Tuesday, Kanu Agabi, counsel to Mutfwang, prayed the court to invalidate the judgment of the appellate court on the grounds that the issues canvassed in the petition were pre-election matters.

The apex court is expected to deliver its judgment before January 16.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *