The Abuja division of the court of appeal has sacked Governor Mutfwang Manasseh of Plateau State and ordered INEC to recognise Nentawe Goshwe of the All progressives Congress, APC as the validly elected governor of Plateau state in the March 18 governorship election.
Justice Elfrieda Williams- Dawodu, who led a three-member panel while delivering the lead judgment cited section 177 of the 1999 Constitution, noting that Manasseh was not a validly sponsored by the PDP during the election.
The panel held that the party violated the court order that a valid Congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that State, by conducting Congress in only 5 local government areas, a move it considers a nullity.
The court while dismissing the decision of Plateau state tribunal held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the findings of tribunal which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
The court also noted that under section 134 of the electoral act it is the sole right of a political party to sponsor its candidate having met the necessary requirements to do so.
While evoking section 136 of the electoral act, the court ordered INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to Governor Manasseh and present a fresh one to Nentawe Goshwe.
(EDITOR: TIENABESO BIBIYE)