On Friday, the Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal upheld the election of Caleb Mutfwang as the legitimate governor of the state.
The decision was made by a three-member panel of the tribunal, led by Justice Sunday. This verdict dismisses the claim made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and it’s governorship nominee, Nentawe Yiltwatda, who sought to disqualify Mutfwang and have Yiltwatda declared the winner of the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had initially announced Mutfwang, of the Peoples Democratic Party, as the victor of the March 18 governorship election.
Mutfwang beat 17 other candidates, including Yiltwatda, by polling 525,299 votes to Yiltwatda’s 481,370. The petitioners, Yiltwatda and the APC, had asserted that Mutfwang should not have been a valid candidate as they believed his party did not have the required structure to nominate him
They also contested the PDP governor’s win, citing alleged overvoting in Mutfwang’s favor by INEC. During their judgment, the tribunal determined that Yiltwatda and the APC did not provide sufficient proof to support their allegations.
It was found that the PDP conducted a repeat congress in 2021, thus they had a robust structure in place to nominate candidates for elections. The tribunal also dismissed claims from Yiltwatda and the APC’s witnesses regarding alleged impropriety in the voting system
Their argument that the bimodal voter accreditation system was not used was dismissed by the tribunal, which verified the vote count as being accurate. In addition, the tribunal noted that even with dissatisfaction regarding another party’s primary procedures, outside parties do not have the authority to challenge the other party’s primaries or congress.
Newsontheplateau reported that an earlier petition by the NNPP candidate against Mutfwang’s election was dismissed by the tribunal due to a lack of merit.