From Andrew Ajijah, Jos
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has nullified the election of Sen. Napoleon Bali, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the grounds that his political party lacks structure in the state, therefore he shouldn’t have contested.
Delivering judgement on Monday, Justice Mohammed Tukur, said PDP lacks the credibility of contesting the election and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Simon Lalong, as duly elected, for the Plateau South Senatorial District election.
Simon Lalong is the current Minister of Labour and Employment, and the immediate past governor of Plateau State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to the judgement at the Court premises in an interview with journalists shortly after it was pronounced, the deputy governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Edward Pwajok (SAN), who is the lead counsel to Simon Lalong, said the tribunal was right to have delivered the judgement in that manner.
According to Edward Pwajok, “PDP as a party and its Candidate were not qualified to have contested the election in the first instance. PDP votes in that election can best be described as wasted votes.”
Similarly, the seat of the Peoples Democratic Party for Barkinladi/Riyom Federal Constituency was also nullified on the same grounds by another Justice.
The seat of the PDP which was occupied by Hon Peter Gyendeng, was given to the Labour Party candidate as winner.
Though experts said the affected Senator, Napoleon Bali and the House of Representatives member for Barkinladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Peter Gyendeng, have the right to appeal against the two judgements.
Meanwhile, supporters of the All Progressives Congress APC in Plateau State were seeing jubilating over the victory.