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Lawmakers’ Sacking: PDP Didn’t Disobey Court Order, Plateau Chair Insists

Chris Hassan said the party adhered to the order of the court in all its activities.


PDP emblem.

 

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Chris Hassan, has insisted that the party did not in any way disobey any court order in conducting elections into the state executive body.

Speaking to journalists at the party’s secretariat in Jos, the state capital, the chairman said the party congresses were held in accordance with the PDP guidelines with adequate supervision from the representatives of the national body.

There had been controversy on the issue of whether elections were conducted by the party as directed by the state high court which has been the determinant by the appeal tribunal for the sacking of elected national and state assembly members of the party in the state.

However, Hassan said the party adhered to the order of the court in all its activities.

Last month, the Appeal Court in Abuja sacked the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang.

In her ruling on Sunday, the lead Justice, Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Nentawe Goshwe.

Justice Williams-Dawodu set aside the judgment of the Tribunal which affirmed the election of Governor Mutfwang, describing it as highly incompetent.

Citing section 177 of the Constitution, the panel noted that Mutfwang was not validly sponsored by the PDP during the election.

It held that the party violated the court order that a valid congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state, by conducting congress in only five local government areas of the state, and as such is a nullity.

The court held that the issue of qualification was both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the findings of the tribunal which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.

The court also noted that under section 134 of the Electoral Act, it is the sole right of a political party to sponsor its candidate having met the necessary requirements to do so.