Appeal Court Ousts Senate Minority Leader, Calls for Rerun

A fresh election has been ordered by the Court of Appeal for the Plateau North Senatorial District, where the Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner in the last poll.

The court, in a unanimous decision in Abuja on Sunday, nullified Mwadkwon’s election on the ground that he was not validly nominated by his party.

The three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Elphreda Dawodu-Williams, upheld the appeals filed by Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP), who challenged Mwadkwon’s victory at the elections petitions tribunal in Jos, Plateau State.

The appellants argued that Mwadkwon was not eligible to contest the election because the PDP did not have a functional state executive committee to conduct a valid primary election, as required by an earlier order of the state’s High Court.

The court agreed with the appellants and held that the PDP failed to comply with the High Court order, as 12 Local Government Areas did not participate in the purported state congress.

The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district within 90 days and exclude Mwadkwon from participating in it.