In a judgment on Sunday, the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Elphreda Williams-Dawodu, ordered the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return given to Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, declaring Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress the rightful winner of the March 18 governorship election.
Courts have sacked at least three governors contested by opposing parties and deemed one election inconclusive, barely nine months after the elections.
- Abba Kabir Yusuf (NNPP):
- NNPP received 1,019,602 votes, defeating the APC.
- The Election Petitions Tribunal invalidated Governor Yusuf’s election, declaring 165,663 votes invalid.
- The Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal’s decision, stating that Yusuf was not on his party’s membership list.
- Abdullahi Sule (APC):
- The Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sacked Governor Abdullahi Sule, ordering the revocation of his Certificate of Return and giving it to David Ombugadu of the PDP.
- The tribunal deducted incorrect votes added to Sule and added back votes reduced from Ombugadu based on certified polling units results.
- Dauda Lawal (PDP):
- INEC declared Dauda Lawal of the PDP as the winner of the Zamfara State governorship election.
- The Court of Appeal declared the election inconclusive, ordering new elections in two local governments.
- Governor Bello Matawalle, who contested the results, established Lawal’s invalid election.
- Caleb Mutfwang (PDP):
- Nentawe Goshwe of the APC challenged the victory of Caleb Mutfwang, claiming the governor was not validly nominated and sponsored by his party.
- The Court of Appeal ruled that the governor was not legitimately sponsored by the PDP for the election, citing a failure to adhere to a standing High Court order.
- Governor Mutfwang plans to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court, expressing hope for the reinstatement of his mandate.
These dismissals were based on various legal grounds, including electoral irregularities, lack of proper election processes, and failure to comply with constitutional requirements.