Sunday, September 24, 2023

Lalong: PDP condemns tribunal judgment sacking party’s federal lawmakers

“We reject the outcome of the judgement in its entirety because justice was not served.”

• September 13, 2023
Simon Lalong
Simon Lalong [Photo credit: Punch Newspaper]

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau has rejected the judgment of the National Assembly election petitions tribunal that gave the Plateau South Senate seat to Simon Lalong.

PDP chairman Chris Hassan rejected the judgment while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Jos.

The tribunal, led by Justice M. B. Tukur, on Monday declared Mr Lalong the winner of the February 25 national assembly polls. It also nullified the election of Peter Gyendeng of Riyom-Barkin Ladi federal constituency and declared Fom Dalyop of the Labour Party, who came second, the winner.

The duo had approached the tribunal to challenge the emergence of Napoleon Bali and Gyendeng, both of the PDP, as senator and House of Representatives member, respectively.

In knocking off the winners, the tribunal relied on the petitioners’ claim that they were wrongly nominated as the PDP had no structure when they emerged as its candidates.

“The PDP watched with dismay and trepidation the nullification of the elections of our senator representing Plateau South and House of Representatives member representing Barkin Ladi-Riyom federal constituency,” said the PDP chair. “We reject the outcome of the judgement in its entirety because justice was not served, and it did not reflect the law and the interest of the majority of the people as freely expressed at the election.”

Mr Hassan added, “The judgment was an electoral robbery, which is unacceptable to the people of Plateau because it is contrary to the will of the people of the constituencies, which was freely expressed via the votes we got in the election.”

Mr Hassan maintained that the tribunal erred to have relied on the internal disputes of the PDP to deliver its judgment in favour of the petitioners. He explained that his party had since complied with the judgment of Justice S.P. Gang and conducted a fresh congress, insisting that the party currently has “a solid and valid structure.”

He added that the tribunal’s decision on the matter had fallen short of expectation, saying it was bereft of an iota of justice.

The PDP chief described the judgments as a diversion of the undiluted will and choices of the people in the light of the consolidated judgements recently delivered by the presidential election petition tribunal.


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