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BREAKING: Appeal Court sacks Plateau Governor, Mutfwang

On Sunday, the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal removed Mutfwang Manasseh, the Plateau State Governor from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to acknowledge Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor in the March 18 governorship election.

Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, heading a three-man panel and delivering the primary judgment, referenced section 177 of the Constitution, stating that Manasseh was not a legitimately sponsored candidate by the PDP in the election. The panel emphasized that the PDP breached a court order mandating a valid Congress in all 17 local government areas of the state, as they only conducted Congress in 5 local government areas, rendering it invalid.

Dismissing the Plateau State tribunal’s decision, the court clarified that the issue of qualification pertains to both pre-election and post-election phases, contradicting the tribunal’s ruling that the appellant lacked the standing to challenge the validity of the respondent’s nomination. Additionally, the court highlighted that, according to section 134 of the Electoral Act, a political party has the exclusive right to endorse its candidate if the necessary requirements are met. Invoking section 136 of the Electoral Act, the court instructed INEC to revoke the certificate of return issued to Governor Manasseh and issue a new certificate of return to Goshwe.



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