Appeal Court Sacks Senate Minority Leader, Orders Fresh Election

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside the victory of the Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon, in the February 25 senatorial election in the Plateau North Senatorial District.

The appellate court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to, within 90 days, conduct a fresh election in the district.

The court, in its judgement on the appeals filed by Mr Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP) ordered a rerun.

Giwa and Zi had appealed against the judgment of the National/State Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos, Plateau State, which earlier affirmed Mwadkwon of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the rightful winner of the senatorial poll.

The appellants had contended that Mwadkwon was not qualified to stand for an election as his party, the PDP, which nominated him during the election, had no structure to do so, having not complied with an earlier order of the High Court for the party to conduct a proper state congress.

Justice E. Daudu, who read the lead judgment of the appellate court, held that the High Court order was not fully complied with by the PDP as 12 local government areas didn’t participate in the said party congress.

“The court made total findings with regard to the issue in focus.

“To avoid anarchy, I agree with the appellants that the court must protect an order of another court.

“I agree with the appellant that the third respondent had no valid structure and could not have claimed to have validly nominated the second respondent (Mwadkwon) for the election.

“Given the findings of this court, the appeal, therefore, succeeds as the court order was not complied with.

“The first respondent is hereby ordered to conduct another senatorial election in Plateau North within 90 days,” the Appeal Court ruled.


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