Why Supreme Court upheld Lalong’s election as Plateau governor

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state

The Supreme Court in its judgement on Monday explained why it upheld the election of Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong.

It held that the constitutional requirements for any person contesting for governor are that, he must be a citizen of Nigeria, must have attained the age of 35, must belong to a political party and must have at least a primary school certificate.

Justice Galinje said Mr Lalong has satisfied all these requirements by law.

The court further added that, “the appellants failed to prove that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the electoral act.”

“On the whole, this appeal fails and it is dismissed by law,” the court ruled.

Lower courts

The Court of Appeal in Jos on November 29 affirmed the reelection of Mr Lalong of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Governor of Plateau State.

In a unanimous decision read by Justice O.A. Otisi, the court dismissed the appeal by Jeremiah Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party and upheld the judgment of the Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had validated Mr Lalong’s victory in the March governorship election.

The appellate court also held that Mr Lalong had the educational qualification to contest in the election.

Mr Useni, a former senator, had challenged the declaration of Mr Lalong as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The PDP candidate had in his petition alleged that the election was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act and was also marred by corrupt practices.

He also said Mr Lalong lied on oath while submitting his form CF001 to INEC.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and awarded N200,000 as cost to be paid to the respondents.


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