The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has nullified the election of Governor Caleb Muftwang of Plateau State.
A three-member panel, in a unanimous decision on Sunday, held that Muftwang was not validly sponsored by the Peoples no Democratic Party (PDP) as provided by Section 285(2) of the Nigerian Constitution.
The panel held that the appeal brought by Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) succeeds as the issue of qualification was both a pre and post election matter under Section 177(c) of the Nigerian Constution, 1999 and Section 80 and 82 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The panel agreed with the appellant (Goshwe) that the failure of the PDP to comply with the order of the Plateau State High Court in Jos in suit no: PLD/J304/2020 between Bitrus B. Kaze & 11 ors vs the Peoples Democratic Party & 24 ors directing it to conduct valid ward, local governments and state congresses before nominating its candidates for the various elective posts and the Court of Appeal order in CA/J1/93/2021 was a breach of the law.
Thus, the panel set aside the judgement of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for being “highly inconsistent and breach of fair hearing by relying on expunged witnesses’ statements to refuse Goshwe’s appeal”.
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.