Photo: Plateau Gov Caleb Mutfwang.
Breaking: Tribunal upholds election of Plateau Gov Mutfwang
The Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has upheld the election of Gov Caleb Mutfwang of PDP and dismissed the petition of APC’s candidate, Dr. Nentawe Yilwada.
Nentawe and the APC had approached the Tribunal seeking the nullification of the Governor’s victory in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election held across the state.
The petitioners had claimed in their submissions that Mutfwang was not qualified to contest for governor because his party (PDP) had no structure prior to the election.
Delivering Judgment on Friday, however, Justice Sunday Olorunfadahunsi described the Petitioners’ petition as a “wild goose chase,” that was bound to fail and dismissed it in its entirety for lacking in merit. He then upheld the Governor’s victory.
“Finally, this Tribunal holds that the Petitioners are mere meddlesome interlopers, who are on a Wild Goose Chase!
“The Tribunal hereby holds that PDP actually held a repeat congress on the 25th of September, 2021 in compliance with the order of the Jos High Court given by Justice S.P.Gang.
“Substantial paragraphs of the Petitioners’ Reply to the 2nd Respondents Reply held to be repetitions of facts in the Petition, and also introduced new facts, which amounts to attempt at amending the Petition; and are accordingly struck out,” he said.
According to the Tribunal, PDP has a legitimate structure in the state and that the issue of party congresses argued by the petitioners is strictly a pre-election matter.
It further held that APC and its candidate do not have the right to challenge the process of the emergence (Congress) of the candidate of another political party, that is, PDP, adding that no PDP member (3rd Respondent) challenged the outcome of the Repeated Congress of 25 September, 2021.
What is admitted needs no further proof. The APC has admitted in its petition that the PDP repeated its congress.
Ruling on the allegations of electoral fraud against the PDP by the APC, the Tribunal declared that the allegation of over voting was not proved by the Petitioners’ witnesses.
The Tribunal also held that the expert witness of the Petitioners should have done better, adding that it took his evidence and report with a pinch of salt and could not rely on same.
“The Tribunal holds that the allegation of over voting falls as a pack of cards, no evidence before it shows that the Governorship election of 18 march 2023 was done in non-compliance
“The Witness Statements of Emmanuel Macham and Emmanuel Go’ar are hereby struck out for having not been filed along with the Petition.
“The witnesses are declared incompetent and all documents tendered through them are deemed rejected.”