Monday 8 January 2024


By: Amb. Valentine Adese (JP),

With one day and a few hours left to the hearing of the Appeal filed by the Governor of Plateau State at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, challenging his sack from office by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the Political Leaders and Mentors in both Political Parties, Party Supporters, and other Big Wigs in the Political space have created strategies to speak to the citizens in the state to support their course, one way or the other.

The marketing strategies which took effect immediately the Supreme Court fixed the date for hearing is observed by REALITY from the contending parties for the Governorship seat in the state.

The alleged political strategies include moves to mutiny the citizens to start allege recalls on incumbent Representatives, Senators and even Members of the State House of Assembly, going to speculations and exposures of alleged corruption by the former and incumbent administrations in the state.

These moves and public allegations REALITY gathered from pundits in the state that it is aimed at garnering the needed supports not only from party faithful, but the citizens of the state entirely.

REALITY also observed that the strategies also enabled both the PDP and the APC to explore and explain to the citizens on the correct position of the Governorship case before the Supreme Court and what they perceived happened at the Court of Appeal, while fixing the missing links.

For the PDP, the case of Governor Mutfwang against Dr. Nentawe of the APC at the Supreme Court are, but not limited to the followings:

  1. Dr. Nentawe Goshwe and APC challenged Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s victory at the Election Tribunal on the allegation that he was not qualified to contest the election because according to them, he was not validly nominated by the PDP since it had no ‘structure’.
  2. Governor Caleb Mutfwang won at the Tribunal and the APC Petition was dismissed, but the Court of Appeal set aside Gov. Caleb Mutfwang’s victory on the alleged ground that the Governor was not qualified to contest the election, having not validly sponsored by his party (PDP).
  3. The Court of Appeal held that PDP had no structure in Plateau State and therefore lacked the competence to sponsor Governor Caleb Mutfwang. The Court also held that PDP was in breach of an Order of the Court that directed it to conduct congress to elect its officers in the Wards, LG As and State in Plateau State, when in fact no order existed.
  4. Governor Caleb Mutfwang now at the Supreme Court contends that the Order of Court was obeyed with the conduct of the Congress on 21st September 2021, as found by the Tribunal, and even if the Order was not obeyed, the alleged disobedience does not form a ground for challenging his election. Reference on this is made to Section 134 of the Electoral Act 2023 which provides the grounds on which the Governor’s election can be challenged. None of the grounds includes disobedience of Court Order.
  5. Further on the impossibility of challenging the Governor’s election based on the allegation of invalid nomination and sponsorship, the Governor refers to judgments of the Supreme Court which holds that a Petitioner, having admitted invalid nomination and sponsorship, invariably admits sponsorship.
  6. On the allegation of lack of structure, the Supreme Court in the case of Oni v. Oyebanji (2023) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1902) held that even if a Political Party has a questionable leadership, its competence to nominate or sponsor a candidate cannot be questioned.
  7. Governor Caleb Mutfwang is praying the Supreme Court to allow his appeal, set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, affirm the judgment of the Tribunal and return him as the winner of the election as declared by INEC.
  8. The Supreme Court has held in many cases that the issue of nomination and sponsorship of a candidate are internal party matters. In this case, Governor Caleb Mutfwang cannot be challenged by his opponent, as in the case of Nentawe and APC because it only concerns members of the same party with the Governor! Also, the issue of nomination and sponsorship of candidates are pre-election matters that can only be challenged in a regular Court before elections.

The APC slamming back at the submissions of the PDP to the public by questioning and explaining, but not limited to the followings:

  1. That, at the Supreme Court, Governor Caleb 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.
  2. It is also the responsibility of the Appellant (Caleb) 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The Appellant (Caleb) need to make efforts to convince the Supreme Court why the party (PDP) ignored the Order.
  5. 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 Appellant and the Respondents have already filed their various Brief and Arguments at the Supreme Court and the hearing is fixed for 9th January, 2024.



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