The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and named his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe, as the winner of the poll.
In a unanimous decision, the three-man appellate tribunal sacked Mutfwang over PDP’s lack of structure and non-adherence to court orders.
Before the judgement which lasted till noon security had been beefed off in all the strategic locations in Jos, the state capital, by stern looking security personnel.
At the premises of the Court of Appeal, Jos Division, an armoured personnel carrier (APC) was stationed to prevent a possible breakdown of law and order.
The panel held that Muftwang was not validly sponsored by the PDP; that his nomination contravenes Section 285(2) of the constitution.
According to the court, the appeal brought by Goshwe of the APC succeeds as the issue of qualification was both a pre-and post-election matter under Section 177(c) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, and Section 80 and 82 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The court set aside the judgement of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for being highly inconsistent and breaching fair hearing by relying on expunged witnesses’ statements to refuse Goshwe’s appeal.
The panel ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Muftwang and issue a fresh one to Goshwe.