The National Assembly election tribunal’s decisions to invalidate the elections of Senator Napoleon Bali and Peter Gyendeng, the Member representing the federal seat of Barkin Ladi/Riyom, have been disputed by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State.

The aforementioned tribunal had announced on Monday that Chollom Fom of the Labour Party, LP had won the Barkin Ladi/Riyom seat and that former governor Simon Lalong of the All Progressives Congress, APC had won the Plateau South senatorial race.

In response to the event, Chris Hassan, the PDP’s state chairman, urged for calm during a press conference on Tuesday in Jos and revealed that the Party has filed an appeal against the rulings.

The People’s Democratic Party, 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 on monday, and the Party rejects the outcome of the judgment in its entirety because justice was not served and it.”

“The decisions made yesterday by the National and State Houses of Assembly Tribunal (Panel 1) regarding the March 2023 National Assembly Election, which the PDP clearly won by a majority of votes in Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency and the Plateau South Senatorial District Elections, were an electoral robbery that is unacceptable to the people of Plateau State because this decision is contrary to the will of the people of Plateau south and Barkin Ladi/Riyom.

“Following the declaration by INEC that AVM Napoleon Bali (rtd) won the majority of legal votes cast in the Plateau South Senatorial Election (winning 5 out of 6 local governments with more than 57,000 votes difference, placing Labour Party second and APC third) and that Hon. Peter Gyendeng of the PDP won the majority of legal votes cast in the Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency who won with more than 4000 votes difference. In the National Assembly Elections held on February 25, Bali and Gyendeng were named the victors, respectively.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) faithfully observed the PDP’s rerun congress in September 2021 as required by law in order to comply with Justice S. P. Gang’s ruling. This same congress was upheld by the federal High Court in Jos in a decision by Hon. Justice D. V. Agishi validating the Party’s State Executive as duly elected. This same decision was also unanimously upheld in favor of the PDP by the Court of Appeal in Jos by Hon. TY Hassan, Hon. Justice I. A. Andenyangtso, and Hon. Justice O. O. Goodluck on February 11, 2023.

“The fact remains that PDP has a valid and solid structure through which our mandate was given,” he continued, “and we are hopeful that it will stand by the special grace of God Almighty because the same position was affirmed by the 7 Judgments of Panel two (2) of the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, which is a sister panel to Panel one(1). We make considerable effort to inform you that the tribunal’s ruling on this subject completely fails to live up to that expectation.

“We are here to tell you that, the judgment of the tribunal yesterday is a judgment that we refuse to accept because it is bereft of substantial justice and a diversion of the undiluted will and choices of the Plateau people in the light of the consolidated judgments recently delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Court in the Presidential Petition which is not far from the petitions here at the Tribunal.

“Consequently, we have asked our lawyers to take the mandate of the Plateau people as their right of appeal to the Court of Appeal to reflect the wishes of the electorate. Because this will of the people “as freely expressed by electing Senator Napoleon Bali and Hon Peter Gyendeng must be respected. As a law-abiding Party, we will explore all available legal means to restore the victory of the PDP.

“There is no cause for alarm and these judgments are just temporary setbacks, legal machinery has been set in motion to reclaim our mandate as we restate our confidence in the institution of the judiciary to dispense justice in this matter at the Appellate Court, so we urge Party stakeholders, our supporters, and indeed the people of Plateau state to be calm and be on alert and continue to support our Distinguish Senator, Hon Member, and the party,” the statement reads.


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