Revealed! Why PDP lost Plateau Senatorial seat to APC

The Court of Appeal has nullified the participation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Senatorial candidate in the February 25 National Assembly Election, Napoleon Binkap Bali for Plateau South Senatorial District of Plateau State on ground of refusal to carry out lawful order of Court.

The Appellate Court in a judgment on Tuesday which was delivered by Justice Elfaida Oluwayemisi Williams-Dawodu in Abuja declared as unlawful and wasted votes cast for PDP in the election and declared the former Governor of the State, Simon Bako Lalong as the Senator for the Plateau South Senatorial District.

Lalong who stood for the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had come second in the February Senatorial election.

Justice Williams-Dawodu held that the PDP and its Senatorial candidate have no legal ground to participate in the election having failed to obey the judgment of a Plateau High Court that the party should conduct lawful elections for the purpose of having officers for Wards, Local Governments and State Council.

The Plateau High Court had in 2022 ordered PDP to conduct elections for selection of officers for Wards, Local Governments and the State Chapter of the party which was not complied with.

The Court of Appeal said that disobedience and disregard to clear lawful order of Court was fatal because PDP hurriedly put an illegal Caretaker Committee in place in utter confrontation to the Court judgment.

Specifically, the Appellate Court held that PDP did not sponsor any candidate for the Plateau South Senatorial District because it was not qualified to stand for any election as at February 25, 2023.

“As at February 25, PDP was on a faulty background at nomination of candidate for any election. It has no legal foundation upon which it’s candidate nomination can stand.

“A positive order of Court must be complied with unless such order is voided and set aside by a higher Court.

“In the instant case, the lawful existing and subsisting Court order was that PDP should conduct elections in line with provisions of the law to have officers at Wards, Local Governments and State Council but the party for reasons best known to it, opted to go against the order.

“I cannot but agreed totally with judgment of the Plateau National Assembly Election Tribunal which in its judgment of September 11, 2023 nullified the participation of PDP in the February 25 National Assembly Election”.

The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the declaration of Simon Lalong as the lawful Senator for Plateau South Senatorial District having scored second highest votes at the election.

Other Justices of the Court of Appeal who agreed with the judgment are Mohammed Mustapha and Okon Abang.

Simon Lalong, the immediate past Governor of Plateau State is currently the Minister of Labour in the President Bola Tinubu’s administration.