A’Court Judge Defends Judgment Sacking Plateau PDP Lawmakers

Justice Waziri said critics of the judgement missed the point, saying the PDP had no structure on ground at the point of presenting their candidates.

Justice Abdulaziz Waziri addresses participants at the 2023 Law Week in Yola on Tuesday, December 12, 2023


A judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Abdulaziz Waziri, has defended the judgment that sacked National Assembly members elected under the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State.

Justice Waziri, who addressed participants at the 2023 Law Week in Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Tuesday, said critics of the judgement were missing the point as the party had no structure on ground at the point of presenting their candidates.

According to the judge, who said he was a member of the panel that decided the case, the case against the PDP in Plateau State was not a pre-election matter. He urged the bar and the bench to always stand on the side of the law.

“Some people may say it was a pre-election, agreed. On issues of qualification, elections can be both pre and post-election matters depending on what you may understand as qualification. The issue in Plateau State is not a pre-election matter per say,” the judge stated.

“There was a subsisting court order given by the Plateau State High Court that PDP should go and have their congresses on that day. They flouted they order of that court, they appealed to the Court of Appeal, they could repeal the decision of the lower court, they file an appeal to the Supreme Court, they failed to pursue the appeal and that appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

“So, the matter as it stood at that time is that they had no structures on ground. So, any candidate they have fielded would have no place to stand in the eyes of the law, so that is what happened,” Justice Waziri said.

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Also speaking at the event, the Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Justice Hassan Abdul Rahman, described corruption as a major problem.

The governor of Adamawa State, Umaru Fintiri, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reintegration, Hammandiram Bello, lamented the lack of understanding of the judiciary by most Nigerians.

This year’s law week with the theme, ‘Building Bridges, Building Nations; A Joint Commitment’, was aimed at addressing the challenges confronting the judiciary and the way forward in the country.

Participants at the 2023 law week in Yola cut across the various strata of the legal profession, serving and retired justices, senior advocates of Nigeria and experienced as well as young lawyers.