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Plateau State Tribunal Ousts Speaker, Reinstates Former Majority Leader

The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Jos, Plateau State, has nullified the election of Hon. Moses Sule, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who represented Mikang constituency in the State House of Assembly. The tribunal has declared Na’anlong Daniel of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful winner of the election. Notably, Hon. Sule held the position of Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, while Daniel was a former Majority Leader of the Assembly.

The tribunal’s decision was based on the determination that Hon. Sule was not validly nominated by the PDP for the March 18, 2023 election due to the absence of a party structure at the time of the election, which contradicted a previous judgment by Justice S.P. Gang on November 26, 2020. Consequently, all the votes garnered by the PDP in that election were deemed wasted.

As a result of the tribunal’s ruling, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been instructed to revoke Hon. Sule’s Certificate of Return and issue a new one to Hon. Daniel. The judgment was delivered by Hon. Justice Mohammed Tukur and his team.

Following the tribunal’s decision, the Plateau State chapter of the PDP has filed a petition against three justices, including Justice Tukur, Justice Omeka Elekwa, and Justice O. Adetujoye. The party alleges “deliberate perversion of justice and conspiracy against the PDP and its candidates.”

John Akans, the State Publicity Secretary of the Party who disclosed the development said, “As a Party that respects and defends the integrity of the judiciary, our commitment in upholding, defending the dignity of the judiciary is unshakable in line with the confidence we have in the system. As a law-abiding Party that believes in the rule of law, we have today successfully submitted our judicial petition to the Chief Justice of the Federation and Chairman National Judicial Council. Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola GCON, against the above Judges.

“This petition is in defence of the judicial integrity which involves -Making judicial decisions that will show the court’s commitment to lawfulness and justice. The court is supposed to act so as not to appear to have compromise or be associated with rascality. The sanctity of the judiciary is sacrosanct and must be protected.”

John Akans, the State Publicity Secretary of the Party who disclosed the development said, “As a Party that respects and defends the integrity of the judiciary, our commitment in upholding, defending the dignity of the judiciary is unshakable in line with the confidence we have in the system. As a law-abiding Party that believes in the rule of law, we have today successfully submitted our judicial petition to the Chief Justice of the Federation and Chairman National Judicial Council. Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola GCON, against the above Judges.

“This petition is in defence of the judicial integrity which involves -Making judicial decisions that will show the court’s commitment to lawfulness and justice. The court is supposed to act so as not to appear to have compromise or be associated with rascality. The sanctity of the judiciary is sacrosanct and must be protected.”

But Sylvanus Namang, the State APC Publicity Secretary commended the three judges for “resounding verdicts,” as the Party stressed, “The All Progressives Congress (APC) Plateau State Chapter wishes to commend the Justice B.M. Tukur-led National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal including learned Justices Omaka Elekwa and A. O. Adetujoye, over its resounding verdicts since it began its judgments on the petitions before it.

“For the National Assembly petitions, the Tribunal has declared APC candidates: H.E. Simon Bako Lalong as the Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District; Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and Hon. Vincent Bulus as Members Representing Wase and Langtang North/South Federal Constituencies respectively.

“In its verdicts for the State Assembly petitions, the same Tribunal has also declared the following APC candidates as winners: Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda for Pengana constituency; Hon. Eli Bako Ankala for Rukuba/Irigwe constituency; Hon. Sylvester Wallangko for Bokkos constituency; Hon. Nanbol Gomam for Langtang North-Central constituency; Hon. Mark Naah for Jos North-West constituency and Hon. Dachung Moses for Riyom constituency.

“One of the sweetest victories is the declaration of the Tribunal sacking Hon. Moses Sule the PDP candidate and Speaker of the PLHA and declaring Hon. Naanlong Daniel Gapyil of the APC as Hon. Member for Mikang State constituency. So far, so good, the victories of the APC at the Tribunal signal a good omen for the Party, for it has greatly recovered lost grounds with every likelihood of taking over the State.”

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