There is uneasy calm in the opposition camp as the Court of Appeal on Sunday sacked the third opposition governor in the country.
The Court on Sunday sacked Plateau State Governor, MutfwangManasseh of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
It will be recalled that the Court has earlier sacked Kano State governor, Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Zamfara State governor, Dauda Lawal.
IdanNews reports that the ruling party at the Centre, the All Progressives Congress, APC are the beneficiaries of the opposition’s loss in the three States.
In the Plateau State judgement, the Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the validly elected governor in the March 18 governorship election.
Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, who led a three-man panel while delivering the lead judgment, cited section 177 of the Constitution, noting that Manasseh was not a validly sponsored candidate by the PDP during the election.
The panel held that the party violated the court order that a valid Congress be conducted in the 17 local government areas of that state, by conducting Congress in only 5 local government areas of the state, and as such is a nullity.
The court while dismissing the decision of the Plateau State tribunal, held that the issue of qualification is both a pre-election and a post-election matter contrary to the findings of the tribunal which held that the appellant lacked the locus to contest the validity of the respondent’s nomination.
The court also noted that under section 134 of the Electoral Act, it is the sole right of a political party to sponsor its candidate having met the requirements to do so.
While evoking section 136 of the Electoral Act, the court ordered the INEC to retrieve the certificate of return issued to Governor Manasseh and issue a fresh certificate of return to Goshwe.
Meanwhile, some residents of Jos, the capital of Plateau, have rejected the judgement of the Court of Appeal that sacked Governor Caleb Mutfwang.
The residents called for the review of all the judgements delivered by the Court of Appeal on Plateau elections.
They made the call during a peaceful protest on Sunday in Jos.
The residents described the judgment on the governorship polls and other judgments of the appeal court on Plateau elections as a clear ”injustice.”
Philemon Jangkam, the youth leader of Angwan Rukuba Junction, called on the National Judicial Council to review all the judgments on Plateau elections.
“We started noticing the injustice from the court of appeal judgments that sacked Isaac Kwallu, Sen. Simon Mwadkon, Rep Dachung Bagos and other lawmakers.
“We the youth of this community are not happy and we will not accept this judgment.
“We will continue to protest until this judgment and the ones that sacked our national assembly members are reviewed,” he said.
On his part, Samson Iliya described the judgment as a deliberate subversion of the people’s will, adding that the peaceful protest was to express their displeasure with the judiciary.
”We are out here to express our displeasure over the appeal court judgments on Plateau elections.
”We call on the NJC to review all the judgments to redeem the sinking image of the judiciary.
”We massively voted for the governor and the sacked lawmakers; they are the choices of the majority of Plateau people and we will not allow the judiciary to decide who should lead us,” he said.
Pankyes Yanksat, another youth from Gyero Junction, advised Mutfwang to immediately challenge the judgement at the Supreme Court.
Yanksat, who expressed optimism that Mutfwang’s mandate would be restored, called on the judges of the apex court to keep emotions aside and go by the merits of the matter.
The protesters were later dispersed by security personnel.