By: Valentine Adese (JP),
The Three-man Plateau State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal, Chaired by Hon. Jovita Binjin, with Hon. Barr J.D Longden and Hon Barr I.K Randa as members has Saturday, dismissed the petition filed by Mr. Ubandoma Joshua-Laven and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the victory of Hon. Kparnim Nanloh-Amos of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with respect to Langtang-North Local Government Council’s Chairmanship.
You would recall that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) conducted Local Government Councils’ election on the 10th of October, 2018, in 13 out of 17 Local Government Councils in the Sate and dissatisfied with the outcome of the election the Chairmanship candidate of the PDP in Langtang North, approached the Tribunal over the declaration of Hon. Kparnim Nanloh Amos, the APC candidate, as declared winner, holding that he and the PDP scored the highest number of votes cast
Hon. Ubandoma Joshua Laven, had challenged the victory of Hon kparnim Nanloh Amos on grounds that the election was inconclusive and marred by irregularities in 110 polling units out of 114 polling units out of the 18 wards.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Hon. Jovita Binjin, in a six-hour judgment which he delivered on Saturday, dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.
In part, Binjin declared that, “Election matters at Tribunals are determined by documentary evidence. But in this case, the petitioners only provided documents for only 26 polling units out of the 110 Polling units leaving out 84, which is huge.
“Those documents are not enough to support the petitioner’s claims that he pulled the majority votes to be declared the winner of the 10th October, 2018, LG polls.
“Moreover, the petitioners did not demand for the discrediting of the entire elections having failed to meet section 196 of the electoral Act 2014, which says elections must duly follow the law, but he only asked that he should be declared winner having pulled the lawful majority votes cast.
“The petitioners, therefore, having failed to prove their claims in the petition filed on 31st October, 2018. We hereby hold that the petition lack merit and it is therefore dismissed. ’’
You would also recall that Joshua-Laven’s petition, like the other 30 petitions that were filed before the Tribunal, was on 4th Janury, 2019 struck out by the Tribunal for want of jurisdiction, but his appeal at the Appeal Tribunal, kept it alive.
The appellate arm of the Tribunal had on 27th January, 2019, ordered Binjin’s led Tribunal to hear the petition on its merit.
Joshua-Laven, had through his Counsel, prayed the Tribunal to nullify PLASIEC declaration of the APC candidate, Nanloh-Amos and declare him winner of the polls having pulled the lawful majority votes cast.
But Nanloh-Amos, also through his Counsel, challenged the petition, which he claimed lacked merit and should be dismissed forthwith.
Shortly after the judgment, Joshua-Laven told newsmen that he wasn’t satisfied with the judgment of the Tribunal and would appeal against it.
“I am satisfied with the tribunal’s judgment. I want to assured here today that I will definitely appeal against it at the appellate arm. ’’ He declared.
Also speaking, Nanloh-Amos, described the judgment as “very apt’’ and “sound’’.
According to him, “I will never lose sleep over the threat of the PDP’s candidate appealing against the judgment. This is because, I am sure he will lose again and again!’’