The Court of Appeal in Abuja, has sacked Governor Mutfwang Manasseh of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the governor of Plateau state.
The Appellate Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately recognise Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the validly elected governor of Plateau state in the March 18 governorship election.
Delivering judgment, Justice Elfrieda Williams- Dawodu who led a Three-Man panel of Justices, cited section 177 of the Constitution, and held that Manasseh was not validly sponsored by the PDP during the election.
The panel held that the party violated the court order that a valid Congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state, by conducting Congress in only 5 local government areas of the state, and as such, was a nullity.
While dismissing the decision of the Plateau state tribunal, the appellate court held that the issue of qualification was both a pre-election and post-election matter contrary to the findings of the tribunal which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent.
The court also held that under section 134 of the electoral act, it is the sole right of a political party to sponsor its candidate having met the necessary requirements to do so.
While evoking section 136 of the electoral act, the court also ordered INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to Governor Manasseh and issue a fresh certificate of return to the Goshwe.