By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, Sunday, sacks Governor Mutfwang Manasseh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Plateau Sate.
The Appallate Court, therefore ordered that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the validly elected governor of Plateau state in the March 18 governorship election.
Consequently, on the strength of section 136 of the electoral act, the court order INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to Governor Manasseh and issue a fresh certificate of return to the Goshwe.
A three-man panel headed by Justice Elfrieda Williams- Dawodu, delivering the lead judgment, cited section 177 of the Constitution, noting that Manasseh was not a validly sponsored by the PDP during the election.
The panel held that the party violated the court order that a valid Congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state, by conducting Congress in only 5 local government areas of the state, and as such is a nullity.
Dismissing the decision of Plateau state tribunal, the Appeal Court held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the findings of tribunal which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
The court also noted that under section 134 of the electoral act it is the sole right of a political party to sponsor its candidate having met the necessary requirements to do so.