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Appeal Court sacks Senate minority leader, orders rerun

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has nullified the victory of the Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon in the Plateau North Senatorial District. A three-member…

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has nullified the victory of the Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon in the Plateau North Senatorial District.

A three-member panel of justices on Sunday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to within 90 days, conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district.

The court gave the verdict while ruling on the appeal filed by Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP).

Giwa and Zi had appealed against the judgment of the Plateau State Elections Petitions Tribunal in Jos which affirmed Mwadkwon of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the senatorial poll.

The appellants had contended that Mwadkwon was not qualified to stand for an election as his party, the PDP, which nominated him during the election, had no structure to do so, having not complied with an earlier high court order for the party to conduct a proper state congress.

Justice A Williams-Daudu, who read the lead judgment of the appellate court, held that the high court order was not fully complied with by the PDP as 12 LGAs didn’t participate in the said congress.

“To avoid anarchy, I agree with the appellants that the court must protect an order of another court,” she said.

“I agree with the appellant that the third respondent (PDP) had no valid structure and could not have claimed to have validly nominated the second respondent (Mwadkwon) for the election.

“Given the findings of this court, the appeal, therefore, succeeds as the court order was not complied with.

“The first respondent is hereby ordered to conduct another senatorial election in Plateau North within 90 days,” the judge ruled.

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