Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos has affirmed the election of Caleb Mutfwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governor of the state, dismissing the petition filed by Dr. Nentawe Yilwada Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Delivering the judgment, the three-man tribunal, led by Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi, unanimously affirmed Mutfwang’s election, noting that despite the wild allegations by the petitioners, there is no evidence to show that the election was not lawfully held as the petitioners failed to tender another result to be considered authentic.
The tribunal also said: “What is admitted needs no further proof”, noting that the APC has admitted in its petition that the PDP repeated its congress. The tribunal is of the view that the PDP conducted a repeat Congress in 2021 and therefore has a structure.
However, the tribunal held that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petitioners’ challenge of the repeated congresses by the PDP as they (petitioners) are busybodies and meddlesome interlopers.
Justice Olorundahunsi also observed that there were so many errors and inconsistencies by the petitioners’ expert witness under cross-examination that “even a Primary 6 pupil would do better in his basic arithmetic”, and are therefore signals for the tribunal to take the evidence of this witness with a pinch of salt and to treat him with caution.
The tribunal ruled that it had no basis to nullify the election, seeing that the petition “is a wild goose chase and is bound to fail. The petition is hereby dismissed”.
Nentawe had approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Mutfwang by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Governor of Plateau State, alleging that Mutfwang was not qualified to contest having not been validly nominated and sponsored by his party (PDP) as the party had no structure as at the time of the said election.
However, in its judgment on Friday, the tribunal dismissed the petition as a mere “wild goose chase” lacking in merit.