Massive protests erupted in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Sunday, following the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda, against Governor Caleb Mutfwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The Appellant Court, in a unanimous judgment, nullified Governor Mutfwang’s election over the PDP’s lack of structure and non-obedience of a court order at the time of his nomination for the March 18 gubernatorial election in the State.
Before the judgment on Sunday, security was heightened in all strategic locations in the state capital, with stern-looking security personnel seen at major street junctions.
Immediately after the news of the judgment broke out, tension enveloped the state as people were seen in groups discussing the development.
In Jos South LGA, PDP-supporting youths thronged Gyel Roundabout in large numbers to register their displeasure over the judgment. A similar protest was recorded in Angwan Rukuba junction in Jos North and Riyom LGAs of the state capital.
During the protests, a youth leader from Mangu LGA, Hon. Pankyes Yamsat, expressed their dissatisfaction, stating that the people’s mandate had been stolen. He called on the Supreme Court to reverse the judgment for peace to reign in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, described the verdict as a temporary setback and expressed optimism that his mandate would be restored. He instructed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court, urging citizens and PDP supporters to remain calm.
The court victory set against pre-election issues brought by the APC has caused controversies among lawyers given the Supreme Court judgment that had set pre-election issues out of the remit of election tribunals.