×

Appeal Court Declares Lalong As Plateau South Senator

The court sacked Napoleon Bali on ground of refusal to carry out lawful order of court.


Simon Lalong

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has nullified the participation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its senatorial candidate in the February 25 National Assembly Election, Napoleon Bali, for Plateau South Senatorial District, on ground of refusal to carry out lawful order of court.

Delivering judgement, a three-member panel led by Justice Elfreda Williams-Dawodu declared as unlawful and wasted votes cast for PDP in the election and declared the former Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, as the Senator for the Plateau South Senatorial District.

Lalong, who stood for the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had come second in the February Senatorial election.

Justice Williams-Dawodu held that the PDP and its candidate have no legal ground to participate in the election having failed to obey the judgment of a Plateau High Court that the party should conduct lawful elections for the purpose of having officers for Wards, Local Governments and State Council.

The Plateau High Court had in 2022 ordered PDP to conduct elections for selection of officers for Wards, Local Governments and the State Chapter of the party which was not complied with.

The Court of Appeal said that disobedience and disregard to clear lawful order of court was fatal because PDP hurriedly put an illegal caretaker committee in place in utter confrontation to the court judgment.

Specifically, the appellate court held that PDP did not sponsor any candidate for the Plateau South Senatorial District because it was not qualified to stand for any election as at February 25, 2023.

The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the declaration of Lalong as the lawful Senator for Plateau South Senatorial District having scored second highest votes at the election.

Other Justices of the Court of Appeal who agreed with the judgment are Mohammed Mustapha and Okon Abang.

Lalong, who is the immediate past Governor of Plateau State, is currently the Minister of Labour in the President Bola Tinubu’s administration.