Election Petition Tribunal Sacks Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker and Member.
In a significant ruling, the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos has delivered a verdict that has sent shockwaves through Plateau State politics. The tribunal has ousted the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon Moses Sule, who was elected under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a parallel decision, Danjuma Azi, a member representing the Jos North West constituency in the assembly, also lost his seat due to the tribunal’s ruling.
Conversely, the tribunal declared Hon. Naanlong Daniel and Hon. Mark Na’ah, both affiliated with the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the rightful winners of the March 18 election.
The legal battle that led to these outcomes was initiated by Hon. Naanlong Daniel, who contested the legitimacy of the candidacies of Sule and Azi on the grounds that the PDP lacked the necessary party structure to participate in the election.
In its judgment, the tribunal, led by Muhammad Tukur, emphasized that the PDP was not qualified to sponsor the respondents for the election. The tribunal held that without a party structure in place, “nothing can stand on nothing.”
Furthermore, the tribunal highlighted that the PDP had violated the order of Justice SP Gang of the Plateau State High Court, issued on November 26, 2020, which mandated the party to conduct ward congresses. The failure to adhere to this order raised questions about the PDP’s eligibility.
Justice Tukur’s panel also pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to provide any credible evidence showing that the PDP had conducted repeated congresses in 2021, as asserted by the respondents.
This tribunal decision follows a previous ruling where two PDP lawmakers of the state assembly were unseated, further adding to the political turmoil in Plateau State.
The implications of these rulings are likely to reverberate throughout the state’s political landscape, raising questions about party structures, electoral integrity, and the impact on the composition of the Plateau State House of Assembly. As stakeholders digest these developments, Plateau State’s political future remains uncertain.