Appeal court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, affirmed the victory of the Minister of Labour and Employment and former governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, as senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District.
Lalong contested the election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress.
But the appellate court dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Napoleon Bali, for lack of merit.
National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal had earlier declared Lalong winner of February 25, election on the ground that the PDP didn’t have valid structure.
The court held that the party disobeyed court order to conduct congresses at the ward, local government and state levels, since 2021, and therefore was not qualified to sponsor candidates in an election.
E.O Williams-Daeoud, who led the panel, held that the tribunal was right to declare the APC candidate as winner of the election.
He added that the Appeal Court investigated and found that the whole exercise of the congresses by PDP was a nullity.
Chairman of the panel said there were previous rulings that PDP should conduct congresses but the PDP had refused to obey court orders, emphasizing that all court orders were supposed to be obeyed by all.
The judge ruled, “Plateau has 17 LGAs that should be used for all issues but 12 LGAs were excluded in PDP congress. Can the elected excos to be said to be a valid Exco?”
“The tribunal cannot say that PDP conducted a repeat Congress. Napoleon is not qualified to be sponsored by PDP to run in that election. All votes by napoleon are void and wasted votes.”