By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Plateau State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election, Sen. Jeremiah Useni has filed an appeal to challenge the judgement of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which upheld the election of Governor Simon Lalong of the All Progressives Congress.
The judgement was delivered on October 2nd, 2019 and the petitioner has filed a notice of appeal, formulating 21 grounds of appeal to upturn the verdict of the tribunal.
Useni and his Party, the PDP are maintaining that Governor Simon Lalong was not qualified in the first place to have contested for election into the office of Governor of Plateau State because he supplied false information to INEC in his form CF100.
The tribunal in its judgement had acknowledged that its findings also pointed to the fact that the information he supplied in that form was false.
Useni’s legal team led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, pointed out that “the inescapable conclusion that ought to be reached by the Tribunal is that the 2nd Respondent is not qualified to contest election into the office of Governor,” instead, the Learned Tribunal “clearly somersaulted in arriving at its decision which was at odds with its findings and this occasioned a miscarriage of justice.”
The petitioners want an order declaring that the 2nd Respondent, Lalong was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast in the election into the office of Governor of Plateau State and that the declaration and return of the 2nd Respondent by the 1st Respondent, INEC as the winner of the election is unlawful, undue, null, void and of no effect.
They also seek an order nullifying the return of the 2nd Respondent as the winner of the Governorship Election and directing INEC to withdraw Simon Bako Lalong’s certificate of return; declare and return Useni as validly elected and issue him a certificate of Return as the duly elected Governor of Plateau State