The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has nullified the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, declaring that he (Muftwang) was not sponsored by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Penpushing reports that the three-member panel, on Sunday in a unanimous decision held that the appeal brought by Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was valid as the issue of qualification was both a pre and post-election matter under Section 177(c) of the Nigerian Constitution and Sections 80 and 82 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The court ruled that the failure of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to comply with the order of the Plateau State High Court in Jos directing it to conduct valid ward, local governments and state congresses before nominating its candidates for the various elective posts was a breach of the law.
‘Therefore, the court set aside the judgement of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal describing it as “highly inconsistent and breach of fair hearing by relying on expunged witnesses’ statements to refuse Goshwe’s appeal”, the panel ruled
Penpushing further reports that the panel ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Muftwang and issue a fresh one to Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Meanwhile, Muftwang will remain in office until the Supreme Court rules on the matter if he chooses to appeal the ruling, in view of the fact the Supreme Court is the final arbiter for Governorship and Presidential elections while the Court of Appeal is the final arbiter for legislative elections.
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