Supreme Court reserves judgment on Plateau, Delta governorship elections

THE Supreme Court has reserved judgement on the Plateau and Delta states’ governorship election disputes.

A five-member panel of Supreme Court justices led by John Okoro on Tuesday, January 9, reserved judgment in the Plateau governorship tussle after hearing arguments from parties for and against the appeal filed by the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang.

Mutfwang is seeking to overturn the verdict of the Court of Appeal, which annulled his election.


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Through his counsel, Kanu Agabi, the governor of the North-Central state, urged the court to uphold the tribunal’s decision validating his election and set aside the appeal court’s ruling sacking him.

He argued that the respondents had no jurisdiction to challenge the process by which a party chooses its state executives. 

He said the defendant, Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda, and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), could not claim that the election did not conform to law.

On their part, Yilwatda and the APC argued that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mutfwang were defying a legitimate court decision, which ordered them to hold congress in 17 local governments, but they only did so in five before the March 2023 governorship election.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja nullified Muftwang’s election on November 19, 2023.

In her ruling, the lead justice, Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, set aside the tribunal’s judgment, which affirmed Mutfwang’s victory at the poll.

She held that Mutfwang’s party, the PDP, violated a court order to conduct a valid congress in the state’s 17 local government areas.

Yilwatda and the APC had filed a petition challenging Mutfwang’s victory in court.

In another development, the Supreme Court also reserved judgment on the appeals by the APC, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP) and their candidates in the Delta state governorship election.

The ICIR reported that in a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal affirmed the election of Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP in Delta state. 






     

     

    The appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Oborevwori the winner of the Delta state governorship election held on March 18, 2023. 

    He polled 360,234 votes to defeat his closest rival, Omo-Agege, who won 240,229 votes.

    Ken Pela of the LP came third with 48,027 votes, while Great Ogboru of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) came fourth with 11,021 votes.

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