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Supreme Court reinstates Plateau governor, Caleb Mutfwang



Tribunal upholds Plateau Gov Mutfwang’s election

The Supreme Court on Friday reversed the ruling of the Appeal Court which had removed Caleb Mutfwang as the governor of Plateau State.

The apex court reinstated Mutfwang as the duly elected governor of the state.

The Supreme Court, had on January 9, 2024, reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Governor Mutfwang urging it to uphold his election.

According to the governor, he was not given a fair hearing by the Court of Appeal, therefore its decision to nullify his election was manifestly flawed.

Ripples Nigeria reports that the Court of Appeal, on November 19, sacked the governor and declared the governorship candidate of the APC, Nentawe Yilwatda, winner. But Mutfwang faulted this and asked the Supreme Court to restore his mandate.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel of justices led by Justice Emmanuel Agim, vacated the judgement of the appellate court which sacked Muftwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and declared Nentawe Goshwe, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election held in the state.

READ ALSO:Plateau governor, Caleb Mutfwang, sheds light on visit to Tinubu in Lagos

In its ruling, the court held that it was not in dispute that Muftwang was sponsored for the election by his political party, adding that the validity of his nomination was not a ground that could be challenged at an election petition tribunal.

In the lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Agim, the panel held that the appellate court lacked the jurisdiction to determine the validity or otherwise of the primary election that produced Muftwang as a candidate in the election.

It also held that the issue of Muftwang’s nomination has become statute-barred since the 21 days allowed for his candidature to be challenged at the high court have since elapsed.

The apex court further held that the appellate court made a fundamental error as the APC and its candidate lacked the locus standi to challenge Muftwang’s candidature.

“The whole case is a thorough abuse of the court process.
The legal profession should wake up or it will render itself irrelevant in the eyes of the people with this type of judgement from the Appeal Court,” Justice Agim warned.

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