Photo: Cornelius Doeyok, PLHA, PDP-Qua’an-Pan South State Constituency.
Breaking: Tribunal affirms Plateau Assembly PDP lawmaker’s election, dismisses APC candidate’s petition
The National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos has upheld the election of Mr Cornelius Doeyok of Qua’an-Pan South Constituency, Plateau State House of Assembly.
Delivering judgment on Monday, the tribunal dismissed the petition filed by PDP and Prof Theodore Maiyaki, a Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN), the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against PDP’s Doeyok in the State Assembly election conducted in March this year.
Maiyaki, a Professor of Law at the University of Abuja and a SAN, had challenged Doeyok’s victory on the ground that the latter was not qualified to contest for the election and claiming that PDP had no structure prior to producing him as its flag bear for the election.
The tribunal however held that all the grounds of the petitioners’ case were pre-election matters, which it has no jurisdiction to entertain, adding that the petitioners should have channeled their complaints to the appropriate court, that is, the High Court for adjudication.
“The Complaints based on nomination and sponsorship by PDP is a pre-election matter and this court does not have jurisdiction on it (only the High Court as it’s a pre-election matter). The petitioners therefore lack the locus standi to bring the case here in the first place.
“The Court hereby considers APC’s Petition as “peeping and looking into the affairs of a neighbour without having the backing of the Law.
“The Petitioners have grumbled, caused the respondent to go into unwarranted voyage and abandoned Ground 1 of their petition, hence the petition is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed,“ the tribunal held.
According to the tribunal, the Witnesses brought by the petitioners did not forward their complaints against the Respondents within the 21 days of the primary election as stipulated by law.
The tribunal further held that PDP had complied with a judgement which earlier mandated it to conduct a repeat congress (Bitrus Kaze & 11 ors).
It said that following from above, the PDP in the state has a legitimate, valid structure to date, adding that from the evidence before it (2R1, 2R2, 2R3) the repeated congress was monitored by INEC.