The Justice Jovita Binjin-led Plateau Election Tribunal on Friday, struck out a PDP Langtang North petition that was challenging the results of the Oct. 10 Local Government elections.
Binjin, in a ruling delivered on resumption from Vocation, said the petition was filed out of time and so lacked the loco standi to be heard. Prof. Fabian Ntung, Chairman, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), had on Oct.16 declared APC candidates winners of the 13 LGAs that took part in the council polls. Mr Ubandoma Joshua, PDP candidate, through his Counsels, led by Mr Harrison Uguala, challenged the decision of PLASIEC before the threeman election tribunal, inaugurated by Gov, Simon Lalong.
Joshua had prayed the court to declare the action of PLASIEC null and void for declaring Mr Kparunim Nanchin of APC, winner and declare him winner of the election. He claimed that he scored 24,183 votes against 18, 018 votes of APC candidate. Chief Garba Pwul (SAN), counsel to APC candidate had told the court that Joshua’s petition was filed out of the 21 days as provided by the state electoral laws. He,therefore, urged the court to strike out the case. He argued that no result of the elections was announced by any returning officer to warrant the petitioner challenging it at the tribunal.
Upholding Pwul’s arguments, the tribunal chairman ruled that it was wrong for the petitioners to have challenged the results not declared by any returning officer. “The tribunal concluded, “The petitioners have failed to meet up with mandatory 21 days filing of their petition according to law and therefore the petition is struck out.” Speaking shortly after the ruling, Uguala said that the party would appeal the tribunal’s decision after studying it.