Appeal Court confirms Removal of Three PDP Reps in Plateau

Court of Appeal affirms nullification of PDP representatives' election in Plateau State due to breach of court order, appoints new winners. INEC faces penalty for appealing.
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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, in a series of separate judgments on Tuesday, upheld the annulment of the election of three members of the House of Representatives who were elected under the banner of PDP in Plateau State.

Those affected by the court's decision were Peter Gyendeng, who represented Barkin-Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency; Musa Bagos, the representative for Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, and Beni Lar, a fifth-term lawmaker who represented Langtang North/Langtang South Federal Constituency.

The court found that the PDP violated a standing court order when it nominated them as its candidates for the National Assembly election that took place on February 25 in the state. According to the appellate court, the PDP ignored an order issued in a case marked PLD/J/304/2021, which directed the party to conduct a fresh Congress involving all 17 Local Government Areas in Plateau State.

Instead of complying with the order, the PDP proceeded to nominate the candidates who eventually won elections in their respective constituencies. The court held that the order issued by a High Court in Plateau state was not only binding but also sacrosanct and should have been fully obeyed.

The Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu-led three-member panel of the appellate court noted that evidence presented by the PDP to demonstrate compliance with the court judgment indicated that 12 LGAs were excluded from the supposed fresh congress due to legal issues. The court ruled that the PDP's failure to obey the court order was detrimental to its case.

As a result, the appellate court upheld the decision of the Justice Mohammed Tukur-led Plateau State National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, which earlier declared that since all the votes garnered by PDP candidates were wasted, candidates from other political parties with the second-highest number of votes should assume their positions.

The individuals chosen to fill the legislative seats, according to the appellate court, are Dalyop Chollom and Ajang Alfred Iliya of the Labour Party for Barkin-Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency and Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, respectively. Vincent Bulus Venman of the APC was selected for Langtang North/Langtang South Federal Constituency.

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