Thursday 14 December 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Court Appeal Abuja Division’s Judgment, delivered on the 19th of November, 2023, on the Plateau State Governorship election that took place on 25th February 2023, and the decision of the Lower Governorship Tribunal that sat in Jos, Plateau State are currently on trial, as the Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang (Esq) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) file their Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Since this would be the end of litigation on the election matter, the issue has attracted the attention of Nigerians in Plateau State and others across the world to its possible outcome.

It is, therefore, a legal battle in which people anticipate superior arguments and persuasions from the legal teams representing parties.

For now, the Court of Appeal has declared Prof. Nentawe Yilwatda as the Governor-Elect arising from his appeal against the Judgment delivered by the Governorship Tribunal that sat in Plateau, which had dismissed his Petition and reaffirmed the victory of Mutfwang as duly elected as Governor of Plateau State. The Court has also in the Judgment, set aside the Judgment of the Lower Tribunal.

According to the Court of Appeal, the candidates of the Plateau State chapter of the PDP that contested the 2023 general elections, including Governor Mutfwang, stood in the elections as Independent Candidates. The Court further held that “the status is not recognized by Nigerian Laws and Constitution”.

It therefore follows that, at the Supreme Court, Governor Caleb and the PDP must show that the Plateau State chapter of the PDP has a Structure and that the chapter conducted the ordered Congresses by the Courts since 2020.

It is also the responsibility of the Appellants to show and prove that no injunction was issued to stop its State Congress of 25th September 2021, by a Competent Plateau State High Court on the 23rd of September, 2021.

This is because the fact before the Court of Appeal is that “On 23rd September 2021, the Exco members of Kanke Local Government and some of the Exco members of Ampang East and Dawaki Wards, brought an Order of Interlocutory Injunction from the High Court of Plateau State, Holden at Pankshin, seeking to restrain Senator Tunde Ogbeha and the Caretaker Committee, as well as, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from conducting the State Congress.

The Appellants also need to make efforts to convince the Supreme Court why the party (PDP) ignored the Order.

This is because, therein in the record been transferred to the Supreme Court there is a deposition that holds that, “after a careful study of the Motion on Notice fixed for hearing on the 9th day of November 2021 at Plateau State High Court in Pankshin, the Legal Advice the Appellants obtained was that they can proceed with the Congress without running foul with the Law”.

It is of note that the Appellants have already filed at the Supreme Court and served the Notice of Appeal.

It there expected that all briefs would have enter on or before the 21st of December, 2023.

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