Political Parties Reject Appeal Court Judgement On Plateau Reps, Senate Elections

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Political parties under the aegis of the Conference of Allied Political Parties (CAPP) has criticized the Appeal Court judgement in the Plateau State National Assembly a rape of democracy. A statement signed by Dr Amos Sani, its director of publicity, described what happened in Plateau state as insensitive and a gross abuse of the judicial process.

“The decision to declare the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, winner of the Plateau South Senatorial election is a travesty of justice. For the Appeal court to declare Simon Lalong winner because the PDP didn’t have a structure is insane and rape of democracy.”

“On what basis would the APC canvass that the PDP as a party didn’t have a structure? What is the business of the APC with the structure of another party? It indicates that the justices of the Appeal Court delivered a kangaroo judgment.”

He further stated that the actions of the Appeal Court tend to set a dangerous precedence in the country.

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” The judiciary is now for sale to the highest bidder. It has succeeded in turning the law on its head. This is a worrisome enterprise that should be discontinued for its potency to truncate our nascent democracy.”

” This is a clear case of rape of our democracy, and any well-meaning Nigerian must reject it in its ramification. There is no sense in the judgment. It read like a prepared speech which smacks of pecuniary gains.”

The group further alleged that the justices of the Appeal Court that entertained the matter acted like they had been induced monetarily to give a damning verdict.

“The Appeal Court judgment smacks of a rehashed endeavor unknown to law. It is worrisome that the justices of the Appeal Court would elect to throw caution in the wind.”

The Appeal Court in Abuja recently upheld the tribunal’s judgment, which declared the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, winner of the Plateau South Senatorial election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party winner with 148,844 votes, while Lalong scored 91 674 to come second in the February 25 elections.

The Election Petition Tribunal nullified Bali’s election on the grounds that the PDP did not have a proper party structure and, therefore, could not file candidates for the elections.

In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Muhammad Tukur, the tribunal said the PDP, having no structure, lacked the right to take part in the election.
The three-person panel of the Appeal Court, led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the matter was both a pre and post-election matter, adding that the tribunal was correct to have looked at the issue.

In a related development, the Plateau South People Assemblies (PSPA), an umbrella body of six LGAs that makes up the Plateau South Senatorial district, has condemned the ongoing waves of judicial pronouncements upturning the elections of elected representatives of the people of Plateau state at the state and National Assembly.

“We are shocked by the pattern of the judgments, nullifying elections of some of our representatives, under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over what is termed as improper nomination and sponsorship of candidates by the PDP.”

“We must further state that these developments are a great threat to democracy in Nigeria today.”

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