The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Mr Caleb Mutfwang as the duly elected governor of Plateau.
The appeal filed by Mutfwang, seeking to restore his mandate to lead the state was allowed and the judgment of the Court of Appeal set aside.
Justice Emmanuel Agim who delivered the judgment held that the appeal by the governor had merit.
BRANDPOWER reports that the appeal court had in a unanimous decision in November ruled that Muftwang was not sponsored by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The court held that Nentawe Yilwada of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the 18 March 2023 governorship election and therefore upheld his appeal.
According to the result declared by INEC, Mutfwang scored 525,299 votes to beat Mr Yilwada polled 481,370 votes.
The Plateau Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had earlier affirmed Muftwang’s victory prompting Mr Yilwada to file an appeal at the appeal court.
The decision of the Supreme Court on the case is final.
On November 19, the court of appeal in Abuja sacked Mutfwang as governor of the state. The appellate court held that the PDP violated the court order and ordered that a valid congress be conducted in the 17 Local Government Areas of Plateau.
The court said the party conducted congress in only five LGAs of the state “which amounted to a nullity.”
But a five-member panel led by Justice Emmanuel Agim reversed the decision of the appellate court for being perverse because the issue of the primary election that produced Mutfwang was outside the jurisdiction of the lower court.
The apex court pointed out that the validity of nomination and sponsorship is not a valid ground to void an election.
He held that the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction to entertain it, besides the issue of sponsorship has elapsed long ago, adding that the petitioners not being members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have no locus to challenge the party’s primary election.
On the issue of whether the order of the Plateau State High Court can affect the National Executive Committee (NEC), the apex court held that the appellate court was wrong in holding that the order affects the NEC.
Justice Agim further stated that the issue of primary is an internal matters of political parties which both the Tribunal and Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction.