Thursday 3 August 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Legal presentations at the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau State is beginning to give insight to what the Petitioners and the Respondents want the Tribunal to look at particular, for those petitions that have enter their Final Written Address stages.

Although most of these petitions that were in their Final Written Address stages, the addresses have been adopted by Counsels in the Petition and the Petitions have been adjourned for Judgment to a date that would be communicated to Counsels, the Counsels in the Petitions in their final addresses have made efforts to draw the panels to see and grant the reliefs they are seeking.

In all the Petitions and across the panels, the Petitioners from the All Progressives Congress (APC), are holding strongly to the ground that, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in disobedience to the Orders of the Plateau State High Court and so, the alleged State Congress they held, was a nullity, void and does not resolve the issue(s) of the alleged disobedience.

In  their attempt to make the issue a case, they are trying to draw the attention of the Tribunal panels to note that, their Orders are disobeyed and are still been disobeyed by the PDP, despite the alleged State Congress, dated 25th September and also reported by INEC as, “PDP REPEATED STATE CONGRESS”.

In the Petitions filed by, Rt. Hon. Baba Hassan (the former Deputy Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly), Amb. Chris Giwa, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, Hon. Vincent Venman, Fom Dalyop Chollom, Amb. Gotom, among others, the Petitioners’ Counsels have made efforts to draw the attention of the Panels to this ground in their Final Written Addresses.

While on the party of the PDP, which is mostly on the Respondent’s side with its candidates, the Counsels in the matter, are putting more efforts to draw the attention of the Panels, to note that, the APC is openly poke nosing into the affairs of the PDP.

In their various Final Written Addresses, they have described the APC, as a “Meddlesome Interloper”, while making reference to the recent Judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

However, in most Petitions the Counsels to the APC have tried to persuade the members of the Panels to note that, the PDP cannot be in alleged disobedience of Court Orders and still benefit from same.

While the Counsels to the PDP still strongly stand to persuade the Tribunals to the fact that, they are not in disobedience to any Court Order and that nobody within the party (PDP) has raised or filed any suit on that issue since it obeyed the Court Order by conducting a Fresh Congress in the state, but the APC and its members, which are members of a different political party.

In summary, while the APC is not challenging the primaries of the PDP, it is trying to pitch the PDP against the Judiciary, over the alleged disobedience and simply wants the Judiciary to punish the party for such disobedience.

You would recall that, the PDP in Plateau State was punished by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) by not allowing the party to participate in the last Local Government Council elections it conducted.

Secondly, Hon. Justice Kunda, while supporting PLASIEC’s decision, further punished the party by declaring that, all the activities and procedure under taken by the Caretaker Committee appointed by the NWC of the PDP in preparation for the LG elections, were null, void and of no consequence, as they steps they took was not in compliance with the Order in the Judgment of, Hon. Justice Gang of the Plateau State High Court.

Hon. Justice Kunda in his Judgment, after his attention was drawn to the alleged fact that, he was been called upon to interpret the Judgment of Justice Gang, stated that, “Courts frown at disobedience to Court Orders”. He expressly stated that, “Court Orders must be obeyed”.


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