Appeal Court Verdict: See why PDP’s Bwala criticised sacking of Plateau Gov

By Chris Udochukwu

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daniel Bwala, on Monday, criticised a judgement of the appellate court sacking Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.

“We have never seen where an election was invalidated on the ground that somebody disobeyed a court order,” Bwala said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Monday.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mutwang polled 525,299 beating 17 other candidates including Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 481,370 in the March poll.

Back in September, the Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal affirmed the election of Mutfwang but two months later, an appellate court on Sunday sacked the PDP governor and ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Goshwe. The court held that the party violated the court order that a valid congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state.

However, Bwala, who is a lawyer, said an election should not be invalidated because of a court order on party congresses.

“If you look at the grounds in section 134, disobedience to court order was not there. Now, the court can say disobedience to court order was a consequence of not conducting the primary,” he said.

“Even if they don’t conduct the primary, it is pre-election but it is more of the disobedience of the court order.”

He urged the people of Plateau to be hopeful “because our eyes are now fixated on Ebonyi because if this goes this way, then we have every reason to believe that it will go in the favour of PDP.”

In the last week, the appellate court sacked three governors that INEC declared winners in the March 2023 poll. All the three governors sacked by the appellate court are in opposition parties. All the governors have vowed to approach the Supreme Court for redress.

The court sacked Abba Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and declared his APC counterpart, Nasir Gawuna, as the winner of the poll.

In Zamfara, the appellate court sacked PDP’s Dauda Lawal when it declared the poll inconclusive about eight months later. The court ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election in three local government areas of the state. PDP’s Lawal and APC’s Bello Matawalle are the major contenders in the race.

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