BREAKING :Tribunal affirms Plateau gov’s election
Written by News Desk on September 22, 2023
By James Abraham
The Plateau state governorship election petition tribunal on Friday affirmed Caleb Mutfwang as the duly elected governor of the state.
Delivering judgment on Friday morning which lasted about two hours , a three-member panel of the tribunal led by Justice Sunday O dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress and it’s Governorship candidate,Nentawe Yiltwatda
The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Mutwang of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the March 18 governorship election with 525,299 beating 17 other candidates including Yiltwatda who polled 481,370.
Yiltwatda and his party (APC) had approached the tribunal to disqualify Mutfwang and declare him the winner of the election, while claiming to have polled the highest valid votes cast.
The petitioners insisted that Mutwang was not validly nominated by his party to stand for election as his party lacked the structure to do so
The petitioners equally challenged the victory of the PDP governor over an alleged over voting in the scores recorded for him by INEC
But delivering the judgment, the tribunal held that Yiltwatda and his party failed to prove their case.
The tribunal held that Mutwang’s party (PDP)
conducted a repeat Congress in 2021 and therefore, had a solid structure as a party to nominate candidates for elections.
The Tribunal equally rejected Yiltwatda and his party’s witnesses that BVAS was not used noting that the total number of votes cast was four out of four voters and as such the tribunal found that there was no case over-voting.
“The witness admitted that he was not in PDP but had an agent that gave him information about the PDP primaries that the party did not have structure.
“Witness confirmed under cross examination that he is not a member of PDP, but that whatever happens in the PDP is in public domain.
“The tribunal is of the view that the pdp conducted a repeat Congress in 2021.
“What is admitted needs no further proof. The APC has admitted in its petition that the PDP repeated its congress.
“The APC in its witness cross examination admitted that the PDP complied with the court order and repeated its congress
“No matter how dis-satisfied another party feels on the conduct of another party’s primaries, it must keep mum as it is not a member of that party. Such a person(party) therefore, lacks the locus Standi to challenge such a congress or primary election.
“The Petitioners presented a witness who admitted she was a polling unit agent, but admitted under cross examination in the case of Jos North that the signature on the polling unit result is not her’s. The evidence is thereby expunged by the tribunal.
“Another witness admitted that BVAS was not used but that the total number of votes cast is four out of four voters. The tribunal has thereby found that there is no over-voting”,the tribunal ruled.
Jayfm reports that the tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition filed by the NNPP candidate against the election of Mutfwang for lack of merit