The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday upheld the judgment of the tribunal which declared the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong winner of the Plateau South Senatorial election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party winner of the election with 148,844 votes, while Lalong scored 91, 674 to come second in the February 25 elections.
But Lalong asked the tribunal to nullify Bali’s election on the grounds that the PDP did not have a proper party structure and, therefore, could not file candidates for the elections.
The tribunal, in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Muhammad Tukur, said the PDP, having no structure, lacked the right to have taken part in the election.
The tribunal held that the votes scored by Bali in the February 25, 2023, general elections were wasted votes.
Bali approached the appeal court, asking the court to set aside the judgment.
The three-man panel of the Appeal Court led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, held that the matter was both a pre and post-election matter, adding that the tribunal was correct to have looked at the issue.
She held that the PDP was wrong not to have obeyed subsisting orders asking that a new congress should be conducted in the state.
“Section 287 of the Nigerian Constitution said all are expected to observe orders of the court. The order was in the realm. It is binding all persons. It is immutable and until it is set aside and must be complied with.
“This issue is hereby resolved against the appellant. Invalidly nominated candidates cannot attract lawful votes. This appeal fails. The tribunal judgment is hereby affirmed,” she held.