Nentawe Goshwe, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for governor in Plateau State, filed an appeal challenging Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s victory, and the Appeal Court of the Abuja Division will rule on it on Sunday.
This occurs about a week after Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu’s three-member panel reserved judgment on the appeal.
Goshwe is contesting Governor Mutfwang’s victory on the grounds that he was not legitimately nominated and sponsored by his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to run in the polls on March 18, 2023.
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He argued that Mutfwang’s poll was not conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and as a result did not receive the majority of legitimate votes cast during the election, claiming that the PDP lacked structure and was unqualified to support any candidate.
Mutfwang received 525,299 votes in the election while Goshwe received 481,370 votes on the PDP platform.
A three-member panel of a tribunal led by Justice Rita Irele-Ifijeh, however, unanimously ruled that the APC candidate’s lawsuit lacked merit and dismissed it.
Goshwe appealed the tribunal’s decision after being dissatisfied with the ruling.
The appellant and his political party, the APC, informed the court in their notice of appeal that during the state’s governorship election in 2023, there was over-voting and non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act.
According to the lead attorney for the appellants, Prof. Olagoke, SAN, Mutfwang was ineligible to run for office because a political party did not sponsor him legitimately, in violation of Section 177 (C) of the 1999 Constitution.
To support his claims, he cited a number of court decisions, including those made by the appellate court.
Professor Olagoke asserts that Governor Mutfwang’s polled votes were ineffective and urged the court to declare Mr. Goshwe the election winner.
However, Governor Mutfwang’s attorney, Godwin Agabi, SAN, claimed that the court has no jurisdiction over the internal party issue of a candidate being nominated and sponsored for election.
Source: Channels TV