Plateau’s Muftwang Races to Supreme Court After Ouster
By Adedapo Adesanya
The ousted Governor of Plateau State, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, is heading to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict of an Appeal Court that sacked him as governor of the state on Sunday.
In a statement through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr Gyang Bere, the Governor said the “temporary setback” won’t deter him from repositioning the state on the path of unity, peace, and progress.
The governor admonished citizens of the state and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to remain calm and assured them that as God remains on the throne, his mandate will be preserved and protected.
A three-member panel, in a unanimous decision on Sunday, held that Mr Muftwang was not validly sponsored by the PDP as provided by Section 285(2) of the Nigerian Constitution.
The panel held that the appeal brought by Mr Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) succeeded as the issue of qualification was both a pre and post-election matter under Section 177(c) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, and Sections 80 and 82 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to the candidate of the APC, Mr Goshwe.
She set aside the judgment of the Tribunal which affirmed the election of Governor Mutfwang, describing it as highly incompetent.
In reaction, the governor said he has instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.
“He expressed strong optimism that the mandate overwhelmingly given to him by the people of Plateau State would be restored, as he has instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court,” the statement partly read.
The emergence of Mr Goshwe means that the PDP’s return to power in the Northcentral state since 2015, after holding onto 16 years of the north central state, has been returned to the APC which held the position for the last eight years under Mr Simon Lalong.