Justice Abdulaziz Waziri of the Court of Appeal has declared that all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidatures in the Plateau State elections in 2023 are null and invalid.
On Monday, Justice Waziri told attendees at the 2023 Law Week in Yola, Adamawa State’s capital, that the appeal court was correct to dismiss all PDP parliamentarians in the state because the party had no structure at the time it presented all of its candidates.
Justice Waziri was responding to widespread criticism of the Court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the election of all PDP legislators at the state and national levels.
Furthermore, Justice Waziri stated that, contrary to popular belief, the case against the PDP in Plateau State was not a pre-election matter.
Many Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, have slammed the Court of Appeal for dismissing PDP lawmakers in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates.
The judge, however, declined to comment directly on the status of the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang, whose similar appeal is before the Supreme Court.
“The condition of qualification can be both pre-and post-election matters, depending on what you understand by the term qualification.
“The issue in Plateau State is not a pre-election matter as rightly pointed out by the chairman of this branch (Nigerian Bar Association).
“There was a subsisting court order given by the Plateau State High Court that PDP should go and have their congresses conducted; they flaunted the order of that court, they appealed to the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the lower court.
“They filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, they failed to pursue the appeal. That appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court; so the matter as it stood at that point in time, they had no structures. So any candidate they have fielded, that person would have no place to stand in the eyes of the law.
“That is what happened and we said there was disobedience of court order and there was no party structure and those that were elected; all the members, we asked them to go. And those that took their places are either Labour (Party) or APC, whichever comes second.
“But for the governorship (election), I won’t comment, it’s sub judice. It is before the Supreme Court,” Justice Waziri said while addressing the gathering.