The Court of Appeal on Tuesday nullified the participation of the PDP and its senatorial candidate in the February 25 National Assembly Election, Napoleon Bali, for the Plateau South Senatorial District of Plateau State on grounds of refusal to carry out the order of court.
The appellate court in a judgement delivered by Justice Elfaida Williams-Dawodu held as unlawful and wasted, votes cast for PDP in the election.
Justice Williams-Dawodu declared former governor of the state and incumbent Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, as the Senator for the Plateau South Senatorial District.
Lalong, who stood for the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had come second in the February senatorial election.
Justice Williams-Dawodu held that the PDP and its candidate have no legal ground to participate in the election having failed to obey the judgement of a Plateau High Court.
The court added that the party should have conducted lawful elections for the purpose of having officers for Wards, Local Governments and State Council.
The Plateau High Court had in 2022 ordered PDP to conduct elections for selection of officers for Wards, Local Governments and the State Chapter of the party which was not complied with.
The Court of Appeal said that disobedience and disregard to clear lawful order of court was fatal because PDP hurriedly put an illegal Caretaker Committee in place in confrontation to the court judgment.
Specifically, the appellate court held that PDP did not sponsor any candidate for the Plateau South Senatorial District because it was not qualified to stand for any election as at February 25, 2023.
“As at February 25, PDP was on a faulty background at nomination of candidate for any election. It has no legal foundation upon which its candidate nomination can stand.
“A positive order of court must be complied with unless such order is voided and set aside by a higher court.
“In the instant case, the lawful existing and subsisting court order was that PDP should conduct elections in line with provisions of the law to have officers at Wards, Local Governments and State Council but the party for reasons best known to it, opted to go against the order.
“I cannot but agree totally with the judgement of the Plateau National Assembly Election Tribunal which in September 11, 2023 nullified the participation of PDP in the February 25 National Assembly Election.”
The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the declaration of Lalong as the lawful Senator for Plateau South Senatorial District having scored second highest votes at the election.
Other Justices Mohammed Mustapha and Okon Abang agreed with the judgement.