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May 20, 2024

Tribunal upholds election of Senate Minority Leader, Mwadkwon

From Tongnaan Bawa, Jos

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau State on Thursday affirmed the election of the Senate Minority Leader and Senator Representing Plateau North Senatorial District Sen. Simon Mwadkwon.

The Labour Party and its candidate Gyang Zi had petitioned the tribunal challenging the outcome of the 2023 National Assembly election in Plateau North.

The tribunal however confirmed the victory of Sen Simon Mwadkwon of the PDP as duly elected Senator Plateau North senatorial district and dismissed the petition filed by Gyang Zi of the LP.

Recall LP candidate Barr. Gyang Yaya ZI (Petitioners) in suit No:EPT/PL/SEN/04/2023 having dissatisfied with the outcome of the 25th February 2023 National Assembly elections that returned Simon Mwadkwon as Senator representing Plateau Northern senatorial zone by INEC went to the Tribunal to seek redress.

Our correspondent reports that the petitioners approached Tribunal on 19th March 2023, and filed three grounds of pleading for determination.

The pleadings are; that the 3rd respondent (PDP) as of 25th February, 2023, election of Plateau North senatorial district, the 3rd respondent (PDP) doesn’t have a valid structure to sponsor or nominate the 2nd respondent (Simon Mwadkon) a candidate in the said election.

That PDP are in total disobedience of the Court judgment, and there was non-compliance with the provision of the electoral act during the election, urging the Tribunal to grant the reliefs sought in favour of the petitioners.

While delivering the judgment, Justice Mohammed Mohammed alongside the other two Justices of the Tribunal said having gone through the pleadings of the petitioners, witnesses presented and the documents tendered by both petitioners and respondents, the “petitioners case has not satisfactory proved and hereby dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

“We affirmed the declaration of the 2nd respondent (Simon Mwadkon) by the 1st respondent (INEC) as a duly elected Senator of Plateau North senatorial district in the National Assembly elections that held 25th February 2023.”

Justice Mohammad Mohammad further stated that ground one which the petitioners were relying upon as the sole ground of their petition is grossly incompetent as section 65 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended is very clear.

“The issue of nomination and sponsorship of candidate is a pre-election matter and purely internal affairs of a political party and therefore, it is within the domestic domain of the 3rd respondent (PDP).

“The petitioners lack necessary locust standard to challenge nomination and sponsorship of the 2nd respondent by the 3rd respondent. Ground one of the petition is pura ely preelection matter which can only be entertained by the Federal High Court, and candidates or aspirants who contested primaries with the 2nd respondent that are in a position to seek redress.”

Recall that Senator Simon Mwadkon scored 155,081 votes cast and Gyang Yaya ZI got 79,832 votes.

In the same vein, Honourable Justice Williams Rotimi Olamide in suit No:EPT/PL/HR/02/2023 dismissed the petition of Adamu Alkali of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, challenging the declaration of Musa Agah of PDP by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Member Representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency elections held 25th February, 202.

The presiding judge dismissed the petition for grossly incompetent and lacking in merit.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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