From Yakubu Busari, Jos
The Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau state capital on Friday dismissed the Election Tribunal judgment that upheld the election of Hon Nanloh Amos kparnim of the All Progressive Congress, APC, as the winner of Langtang North Local Government Council.
The Appeal Tribunal set aside the judgment of the local government trial Tribunal that stated that the APC was validly elected on account of votes scored and ordered the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC, to give the Certificate of Return to Joshua Ubandoma Laven who scored the highest number of lawful votes cast.
The three man panel headed by Justice Arum Ashom in a 7- hours judgment, said the Appellant Counsel took over 38 witnesses, who are polling units agents in 18 wards of Langtang North LGA with only 11 wards remaining without witness.
The six grounds on which the Appellant challenged the decision of the lower Tribunal judgment was that election held in 110 polling units except 4 while the the Local government returning officer, Mr Samuel Gomar disappeared from Langtang North to surface at PLASIEC headquarters where he presented fake result sheets without agents signatures.
The judgment stated that there was no score record for other political parties which the APC and PLASIEC tendered as exhibits whereas the results tendered by the petitioners, Hon Joshua Ubandoma Laven and the PDP, showed that on April 18th, 2018 the LG election indicated votes for other political parties.
“Its was clear that all the true certified copies of respondents’ results received and dated 15th April, 2019 is full of doubt which questions why the 3rd respondent, PLAISEC, should issue result to the second respondent just to contradict the tendered result of the petitioners.”
The judgment stated that PLASIEC contradicted it law 9 that the election should not be announced outside the council headquarters without and breakdown of law and order. It said this is tantamount to abuse of power bestowed on the PLASIEC.
Justice Ashom said the respondents in their wildest imagination hurriedly went to obtain results just to announced Nanloh Amos Kparnim which was against section 64 of PLASIEC law that copies of results sheet should be given to each of the agents of the political parties.
The judgment explained further that the Tribunal didn’t investigate the result but painfully went ahead to declared the APC candidate winner without following the due process according to the Electoral Act .
He added that total of lawful votes cast for APC is 14,708 and PDP 19,599. Base on the results available to the tribunal the Appellant is the winner of all the issues raised.
“We declare null and void the election of Hon Nanloh Amos Kparnim. This Tribunal orders that the 3rd Respondent should issue certificate of return to Hon Joshua Ubandoma Laven of the PDP as winner of Lantang North LG”.