The All Progressives Congress governorship Candidate Nentawe Yilwatda has began the legal battle to reclaim his mandate at the tribunal sitting in Jos.
This was made available to this medium and was signed by Shittu Bamaiyi the Director of Press of Generation Next stated that in over 400 page petition supported by series of exhibits and witness statements filed at the tribunal, Nentawe predicated his petition on three grounds.
The grounds include the fact that Caleb Mutfwang at the time of the election was not qualified to contest the election and therefore his election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the electoral Act.
Nentawe who is the first petitioner with the APC as the second petitioner, further contended that Mutfwang was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at election.
According to the petitioners, the election conducted by INEC on the 18th of March, Mutfwang was not qualified having not been validly nominated or sponsored by the PDP or any political party as a candidate in the contest.
The petition filed by his lawyer Prince Lateef Fwagbemi SAN, further stated that about two years ago,Mr Bitrus Kaze and eleven others had sued the PDP and 24 others and secured judgement at the Jos High court where it was ordered that the party should go and conduct fresh congresses for the election of EXCO members at the Wards, Local government and State levels.
The petitioners further stated that the PDP did not conduct the fresh congresses as ordered by the Jos High court.
According to Nentawe, the PDP later on challenged the decision of the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission when it disqualified it from sponsoring or participating in an election as a result of its failure to comply with the earlier Court order in respect of Bitrus Kaze and the party.
He averred that on the 6 of May 2022, the PDP not satisfied, lodged an Appeal at the Court of Appeal in Jos and that the Appeal was unanimously dismissed adding that the appellate Court further affirmed the judgement of the Jos High court.
The APC governorship Candidate further averred that the PDP also not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal proceeded to the Supreme Court where it also lost, and the case dismissed on the 7th of December 2022.
Supported by series of case files to justify his petition, Nentawe also disclosed that INEC in February last year conducted a bye-election into the Pankshin South state constituency where the PDP challenged the return of the APC candidate Ezra Yardi Dakup.
Nentawe further disclosed that during the trial the APC challenged the Locus Standi of the PDP and it’s candidate Peter Dasat, to contest the election having not complied with the order of the Jos High court.
According to him,in September last year the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal held that the PDP was yet to comply with order of the Jos High court in the case of Bitrus Kaze and it.
Nentawe further said, dissatisfied with the decision of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, the PDP appealed the outcome at the Court of Appeal and in October last year it was dismissed.
As if this was not enough, Nentawe brought the case of the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency of the House of Representatives election where Musa Agah was earlier returned as the winner of the election.
He further stated that the PRP and it’s candidate challenged the victory of Agah on the basis of the fact that he was not qualified to contest the election, having not been sponsored by the PDP who was yet to comply with the order of the Jos High court.
Nentawe said based on that premise,the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal held that Agah was not qualified to contest the election for the failure of PDP to comply with the order of the Jos High court.
Nentawe also said that the PDP and it’s candidate went on appeal where the Appeal court in October last year dismissed the same.
The APC governorship Candidate disclosed that till date, the PDP is yet to comply with the mandatory court order in Bitrus Kaze case.