Sunday 17 September 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Social and Traditional Media spaces are in the last few days occupied by reactions trailing the recent Judgments delivered by the Panel One of the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

While some commentators have commended the Judgments, others have trashed it with suspensions.

However, these Press releases, radio and TV interviews, comments on social media have not stop the strong fears that the Tribunal-Hurricane is currently sweeping the PDP elected officers in the just concluded general elections out of office.


You would recall that, the members of the PDP and its strong supports across the state had mocked its former Counsel and member of the party, Edward Pwajok (SAN) on the eve of the general elections when he pointed out the downfall of the PDP in a radio interview on Rhythm 93.7 FM.

We he said, “A vote for the PDP is a wasted vote!”

Pwajok (SAN)’s advice was ignored, especially, when the party was prevented from participating in the LGA elections and when Hon. Musa Agah’s victory in 2022 was nullified.

Pundits hold that, “The PDD failed to see the handwriting on the wall”.

“It is expected that, the party needs to put facts on the table to make its members take right decision for the People of Plateau State”. Pundits added.

Based on the above, REALITY has decided to republish the Press Release of Hon ZULFA RIMVEN (ESQ), dated 16/9/23, for our readers, to re-establish the cases of PDP that were tendered at the Tribunal that led to the recent decisions.

Read below:-



It is no longer news that the Tribunal sitting in Jos has sacked four National Assembly Members of the PDP in Plateau State.

This is clearly in line with permutations, cautions and warnings that were in the public domain before the 2023 general elections, about the inescapable disaster or peril that would eventually befall the PDP in Plateau State.

Well, like it is said, “time reveals”. But, it is worrisome that some members of the public and indeed, some lawyers, seem perplexed at the outcome of the decisions under review. For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to note that the general elections where members of the public go out to vote, is actually the concluding part of the electoral process. Election is a process and defect in any of the processes, renders the outcome of the secondary election, a nullity no matter how well conducted it might otherwise be regarded. The process inter alia, includes registration of political parties, congresses to elect EXCO for the Party at all levels, conduct of primary elections, and qualification of both the Political Party and the Candidates to contest an election. All these processes are regulated by law and must be adhered to, stricto senso. Thankfully, the Court is the last part of the electoral process and that is where we are presently.

The Tribunal at all levels in Plateau State have been inundated with one potent Ground of Petition by both the Labour Party, PRP and the APC aside the general irregularities in the conduct of elections. This Ground challenges the qualification of PDP to field in candidates to contest for elections while living in flagrant disobedience to Court orders. In proving Ground One, the Petitioners relied and tendered avalanche of cases decided against the PDP as follows:

  1. Certified True Copy of the Judgment in PLD/J/304/2020- Between: Bitrus Kaze and Others Vs. PDP and Others. This is the genesis of the misfortunes of PDP. Here, the Court ordered PDP to conduct Ward, LGA and State congresses to elect their leaders. In other words, the Court ordered PDP to form their “structure”. Mind you, forming your structure is part of the electoral process you must fulfill.
  2. Certified True Copy of Judgment Between: PDP v Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission in PLD/J/250/2021. Since PDP failed to obey the order in the first case, the Court in this second case, excluded PDP from participating in the Local Government elections for not complying with the orders of court. The PDP appealed this case to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court and lost in both appellate courts.
  3. Certified True Copy of the Judgement of the High Court of Plateau State in PLD/J276CV/2020 dated 24/6/2021 Between: Ishaku Adamu Izang Vs. Markus Husseini Nyam (AKA Kaunde). In this case, the High Court granted the reliefs claimed by the claimants and set aside the Local Government Congresses conducted by PDP and PDP is yet to conduct congresses for the purpose of constituting its Wards, Local Government and State organs of the Party.
  4. Certified True Copy of the Ruling of the High Court of Plateau State in PLD/J276CV/2020 dated 24/2/2022 Between: Ishaku Adamu Izang Vs. Markus Husseini Nyam (AKA Kaunde)

Without conducting special congresses to constitute the various organs of the Party in Plateau State, PDP filed a Motion seeking to set aside the Judgement in this case, but the court dismissed the said motion.

  1. Certified True Copy of the Judgement of Election Petition Tribunal in EPT/PL/HOA/02/2022 – Between: Adamu Mohammed Alkali (of PRP) Vs. Musa Agah Avia (of PDP). In this case, a bye election was conducted for the House of Representatives for Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency in 2022 and PDP won the Bye election. But due to lack of structure, the Tribunal in that case sacked Musa Agah and declared/returned Alkali of PRP.
  2. Certified True Copy of the Judgement of Election Petition Tribunal in EPT/PL/HOA/216/2022 – Between: Peter Da’an Dasat (of PDP) Vs. INEC & Others. Just like the Musa Agah’s case, a Bye election was conducted for the House of Assembly of Pankshin South in 2022. The APC won that bye election but the PDP petitioned the election at the Tribunal. The tribunal held that PDP lacked the structure to sponsor a candidate.
  3. Certified True copy of Judgement of the Court of Appeal in CA/J/EPT/PL/NA/HR/216/2022 Between Peter Da’an Dasat Vs. INEC & Others. This is an appeal to the Court of Appeal by PDP and it’s candidate against the judgement of the Tribunal. The court of appeal upheld the decision of the Tribunal that PDP lacks the structure to sponsor a candidate in that election.
  4. Certified True Copy of Judgement of the Court of Appeal in CA/J/196/2021 – Between: Musa Agah V. Adamu Muhammed Alkali. The PDP were dissatisfied with the outcome of the decision of the Tribunal and appealed to the Court of Appeal. Among other things, the court held in pages 47-48 of the judgement as follows:

‘’ From the Record, it is evident that the Appellant started its electoral process on a faulty ground by allowing the disbanded leadership to carry on the business of the Party. (See exhibit 1 at page 160 of the Record). By this conduct, there was no legal foundation upon which the electoral process would stand. In other words, the whole electoral exercise being conducted by the Appellant was a nullity in view of the judgement of the High Court in suit No PLD /J304/2020… The Respondent was right to have declined the invitation to observe the Appellant’s electoral process. In addition, the Appellant failed to apply the relevant provisions of sections 223(1) a of the constitution, 85(3) of the electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Article 49(1) of the PDP constitution and paragraphs 5.2-5.5  of the Guidelines for conduct of ward, local Government area, state, zonal congresses and the national convention of the PDP. Rather, it resorted to the use of section 29(2) of its constitution which was not contemplated by Relief 4 granted in Exhibit H. It goes without saying that the Appellant was in disobedience to the order of the High Court in exhibit ‘’H’’ which was/ is subsisting at the time of the action by the Appellant at the lower court. It is trite that orders of courts are meant to be obeyed… in this issue, I am of the firm view that the Appellant was the architect of its own misfortune. It cannot be heard to complain by way of this appeal. This appeal therefore lacks merit and same is hereby dismissed.’’


The PDP and its Candidates at all levels contended that they have complied with the order of the Plateau State High Court by conducting congress on 25th September, 2021. They relied on a purported INEC report to that effect.

They also contended and relied on the case of Augustine Timkuk, saying that the Federal High Court in Jos affirmed that they have complied with the order of the High Court of Plateau State by conducting congress on 25th September, 2021.

At the risk of prolixity, this is not the first time PDP is fronting the argument that it conducted congress on 25th September, 2021. In the case of Peter Da’an Dasat as cited above, PDP made the same claim but the court had this to say:

“In this regard, in addition to the fact that there is no evidence whatever in establishing the fact that a congress was held on the 25th September, 2021 and what the congress was for, it must be reiterated that what the Petitioners have to establish in order to suspend the effectiveness of the decision of the Court of Appeal is the Election of the valid Executive Committee in compliance with the order of the Court in PLD/J304/2020 as affirmed by the Court of Appeal in PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY VS. PLATEAU STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION, APPEAL NO. CA/J/196/2021 delivered on the 6th day of May, 2022. Failure to do so means that whatever is placed upon the action of the Caretaker Committee continues to be void including the conduction of primaries to nominate and sponsor the 1st Petitioner”.


It must be established that law is well rooted in the principle of judicial precedence otherwise called stare dicisis. All lower courts are bound by the decisions of Courts superior to them.

The Tribunal therefore, is bound by the plethora of appellate decisions against PDP in Plateau State. The Tribunal rightly held that it is bound by the decisions of the appellate courts. The Tribunal further held that PDP is estopped based on issue estoppel, from re-litigating the issues already settled by different courts against them.

In respect of the purported congress conducted by the PDP on 25th September, 2021, the Tribunal held that the report tendered by the PDP and INEC is defective. Only five Local Governments participated in the so-called congress. The signatories to same are not known. No list of delegates that participated in the said congress and no evidence that after the decisions of the Court of Appeal in 2022, the PDP took steps to comply with the order of court.

Regarding the case of Augustine Timkuk which the PDP placed heavy reliance on, the Tribunal held that the decision does not in any way help the PDP. This is because, in that case, the Federal High Court upheld the Preliminary Objection raised by PDP to the effect that the matter of Augustine Timkuk being a pre-election matter, was brought out of time. Therefore, the Federal High Court declined jurisdiction to entertain the suit. Consequently, the pronouncement made by the judge afterwards to the effect that PDP had complied with the decision of the Plateau State High Court by conducting congress on 25th September, 2021, is only an obiter dictum (a by the way statement not a binding decision). A court can not make a valid pronouncement on the substantive case once it declines jurisdiction.

On the whole, the Tribunal’s decision, sacking four federal legislators of the PDP, is therefore well founded in law and facts.

Finally, it must be understood that equity will not suffer a wrong to be without remedy. PDP can not perpetually remain in disobedience of valid orders of court and expect to benefit from the same courts.

-Hon Zulfa Rimven ESQ-



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