November 9, 2023

Plateau: Group expresses concern over A’Court verdict on NASS elections


National Assembly

By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

A group, Conference of Allied Political Parties (CAPP) has raised concerns over the recent verdict delivered by the Appeal Court in the National Assembly (NASS) election case in Plateau State.

A statement signed by its director of publicity, Dr. Amos Sani, described what happened in Plateau state as insensitive and may not reflect the will of the people.

“The decision to declare the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, winner of the Plateau South Senatorial election is a travesty of justice. For the Appeal court to declare Simon Lalong winner because the PDP didn’t have a structure is insane and rape of democracy.

“On what basis would the APC canvass that the PDP as a party didn’t have a structure? What is the business of the APC with the structure of another party? It indicates that the justices of the Appeal Court delivered a kangaroo judgment.

“This is a clear case of rape of our democracy, and any well-meaning Nigerian must reject it in its ramification. There is no sense in the judgment. It was read like a prepared speech which smacks of pecuniary gains”, he added.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party winner with 148,844 votes, while Lalong scored 91 674 to come second in the February 25 elections.

The Election Petition Tribunal nullified Bali’s election on the grounds that the PDP did not have a proper party structure and, therefore, could not file candidates for the elections.

In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Muhammad Tukur, the tribunal said the PDP, having no structure, lacked the right to take part in the election.

The three-person panel of the Appeal Court, led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the matter was both a pre and post-election matter, adding that the tribunal was correct to have looked at the issue.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Plateau South People Assemblies (PSPA), an umbrella body of six LGAs that makes up the Plateau South Senatorial district, has condemned the ongoing waves of judicial pronouncements upturning the elections of elected representatives of the people of Plateau state at the state and National Assembly.