The National and State Assembly Tribunal, situated in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, has removed three legislators from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The affected lawmakers are Remvyat Nanbol, Agbalak Adukuchill, and Happiness Akawu, who respectively represented Langtang central, Rukuba/Iregwe, and Pengana constituencies in the state house of assembly,Daily Trust reports.
This verdict was delivered just prior to the decision on the governorship election held on March 18 in the state. Dr. Nentawe Yiltwatda, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the election, has contested the victory of Governor Caleb Mutfwang, who ran under the PDP banner.
Following the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Mutfwang the winner with 525,299 votes, defeating Yiltwatda, who received 481,370 votes. However, the APC candidate pursued legal action.
In the recent ruling, the tribunal declared Daniel Ninbol Listic of the Labour party (LP), Bako Ankala, and Yakubu Sanda of the APC, all of whom were runners-up in the election, as the new winners.
Justice Muhammad Tukur, leading the tribunal, ruled that the ousted lawmakers were not legitimately endorsed by the PDP because they had failed to comply with a court order mandating the conduct of ward congresses to establish a valid party structure. He stated that the PDP lacked a proper structure and thus could not nominate candidates for the election.
The tribunal also clarified that the petitioners had the legal standing to challenge the participation of the PDP in the election. As a result, the tribunal’s chairman ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to revoke the Certificates of Return issued to the dismissed lawmakers and to issue new certificates to the election’s second-place finishers.
It is worth noting that the tribunal has also ousted four PDP National Assembly members, including a senator, due to concerns regarding the party’s internal structure.