Politics

JUST IN: Tribunal Judgements sacking Plateau NASS Members Won’t Stand – Senate Minority Leader, Mwadkwon

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Simon Davou Mwadkwon, has said the tribunal judgments nullifying the election of some National Assembly members in Plateau State will not stand.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Mwadkwon, who is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator for Plateau North Senatorial District, described the judgments as strange.

In a statement issued on Friday, Mwadkwon expressed confidence that the Appellate Court would not uphold any judgment that contradicted the pronouncements of the Supreme Court. He called upon the members and supporters of the PDP in Plateau State to maintain their composure.

He further stated, “Those currently celebrating within their web of deceit will confront reality when the Appeal Court makes the right decisions regarding the tribunal’s judgments.”

Senator Mwadkwon emphasized that the Supreme Court’s ruling on the PDP’s lawsuit concerning the nomination of President Bola Tinubu’s running mate for the February 2023 presidential election, Kashim Shettima, was unequivocal regarding who possesses the right to challenge political party candidates’ nominations. He pointed out that the Supreme Court had clarified that one political party cannot challenge another’s nomination. He questioned how and why the tribunal could nullify the election of duly elected National Assembly members based on the absence of a party structure in the state.

The Senate Minority Leader added, “Even if we assume, without conceding, that the PDP lacked a structure in Plateau State at the time of candidate nominations, it is the National party structure that nominates candidates, not the State structure.”

“Was the national body of PDP that is legally empowered to nominate candidates for elections not the one that conducted the primary elections that produced our candidates? Or is it the duty of any other organ of a political party to conduct primary elections apart from the national body of the party?

“However, in the case of the PDP in Plateau State, the party duly complied with the judgment of Justice S.P. Gang and held a repeat congress in September 2021. This congress was dutifully monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by law.

“Consequently, the congress was affirmed by the Federal High Court’s judgment delivered by Justice D. V. Agishi in the case of Augustine Timkuk versus PDP. Furthermore, the judgement was unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Jos in favour of the PDP in a ruling by Justice T. Y. Hassan, Justice I. A. Andenyangtso and Justice O. O. Goodluck, delivered on 11 February, 2023.

“One now wonders where the tribunal got its ground of no party structure on which it nullified the elections of our duly elected National Assembly members.

“This is also considering the fact that one of the two panels of National and State House of Elections Tribunal headed by Justice Williams Olamide, in its own judgements, dismissed the ground on which the panel headed by Justice Mohammed Tukur, nullified elections of our party members.

“From whichever way one chooses to look at the judgements, they clearly stand logic and legal precedents on the head and will surely be nullified by the Appeal Court.

“Therefore, our people should remain calm, with assurance that those they willingly elected will serve their terms and deliver their electoral promises.”

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