In a recent turn of events, the National Assembly Election Tribunal’s ruling regarding the Jos South and Jos East Federal Constituency’s residents’ mandate has caused controversy and called into question the very nature of democracy. Many have questioned the genuine value of people’s wants in the political environment in light of the decision, which was rendered in opposition to the overwhelming majority vote.
In the situation at hand, the winning candidate received over 95,000 votes, compared to the opposition candidate’s 31,000 votes, for an astonishing margin of victory. Some people find it incomprehensible that such a clear directive could be brushed aside as a purely academic activity. But despite this, the tribunal issued a decision that went against the wishes of the people for reasons that appear to be based on hidden interests.
Only party members or the party itself has the legal capacity, or “locus standi,” to contest the nomination and sponsorship of a candidate, according to earlier tribunal rulings. Furthermore, these issues were regarded as election-related. The legal justification for this departure from precedent raises doubts as a result of the variance in the current tribunal’s position.
Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos, who represents the Jos South and Jos East Federal Constituency, has urged his supporters to maintain composure and steadfastness in the wake of the tribunal’s ruling. He has emphasised the party’s adherence to prior rulings and the proper oversight of the September 2021 congress by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in accordance with the law.
Rep. Bagos noted the unanimous decisions of the Court of Appeal and the federal High Court in Jos upholding the validity of the State Executive of the Party, essentially approving the framework through which the mandate was issued. As a sister panel to the National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos had already affirmed their position in seven judgements, he expressed confidence that justice would ultimately prevail.
Rep. Bagos declared his intention to appeal the tribunal’s judgement to the Court of Appeal, arguing that it did not follow the Electoral Act. He expressed trust in the judiciary’s capability to administer justice in line with the law and promised his constituents that he would continue to fulfil his obligations as their elected representative in the National Assembly until the appeals court’s decision.
Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos thanked his supporters in his final remarks and promised that they would be stronger as a team.
This development is a turning point in the ongoing legal dispute over the election results, and the Court of Appeal is likely to offer more insight soon.