The Appeal court sitting Jos the Plateau State capital has upheld the decision of the election tribunal judgement of Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State and that of Sen Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state on Friday for they said the suit is lacking in merit.
The five man panel in their judgment of 3 against two said the governor Simon Lalong was eminently qualify to contest for the 2019 governorship seat because the highest requirement for him to contest for election is WACE, GCE of which he has obtained it in 1980 .
They added that the governor in form CF001 he didn’t give INEC accurate information data of himself so the counsel to Jeremiah Timbut Useni ,Chief Mike Ozekhome faults information he gave on oath .
However, four issues were formulated for judgement which they entered judgement in favour of Governor Simon Bako Lalong ,based on the judgment of the lower tribunal dated 24th October, 2019.
They jurist pointed out that allegations of mass rigging ,fortitude of results was not prove,Useni wasn’t satisfied with it ran to approach appellant court seeking for the court to set aside the victory of Governor Simon Bako Lalong for furnishing INEC with wrong information.
The issue for determination are for judgement will deliver under the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, 2010 amended,
It’s clear that the appeal court in APC, Governor’s Lalong against Useni for cross appeal was dismissed in favour of defeated PDP and her candidate
Counsel to the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Plateau State, said he would not accept the judgement of the Appeal Court, which dismissed his client’s petition on lack of merit and re-affirmed the election of Simon Lalong as governor of Plateau State.
, Barr. Edward Pwajok SAN, said that the team of lawyers for the PDP and it candidate are not certified with the decision of the Appellant Court, are going prepared to approach the supreme court for justice.
The court , dismissed the petition of Gen. Jeremiah Useni, candidate of the PDP against the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Governor Simon Lalong.
In his reaction to the judgement, deputy governor of Plateau State, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, called on their opponents to join hands with their administration to join their hands to develop the state.
One of the contending issues in the petition of the PDP against APC candidate was the alleged non-qualification of Governor Lalong to contest the governorship elections, because he, Governor Lalong, changed his name from Sule Simon Bako to Simon Bako Lalong.
The panel of five Judges at Appeal Court ruled that there was no law that prohibits anyone from changing names, once there was a court Affidavit to attest that it is the same person bearing the new name.
According to Pwajok, the PDP candidate, Gen. Useni, won the elections but that INEC declared his opponent Simon Lalong of APC winner of the said poll.
However, counsel to the APC and Governor Lalong, Garba Pwul SAN, said the verdict of the Appeal Court was an affirmation of the Plateau electorates who elected them.
Barr. Pwul said his team of lawyers was ready to prosecute the case at the Supreme Court.
The counsel to APC however said the approach of the PDP to the supreme Court might be fruitless efforts, according to him the decision of the supreme Court might not be differ from the two Courts and INEC.
It will be recalled that, the low tribunal had sent parking the petition of Gen Jeremiah Useni and PDP; Similarly the appeal court sitting in Jos subsequently re-affirmed the victory of governor Lalong as declared by INEC and the lower tribunal.
There was jubilation by APC party supporters in Plateau state, singing songs of victory.