Appeal Court Affirms Simon Lalong’s Victory as Plateau South Senator
The Appeal Court in Abuja has reaffirmed the tribunal victory of Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment, who serves as the Senator representing Plateau South.
In a recent ruling, a three-man panel led by Justice Williams Daudu upheld the decision of the Tribunal regarding the outcome of the election.
Background: Tribunal Victory and Election Outcome
Initially, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Senator Napoleon Bali of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the original poll.
However, the National Assembly and State Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos had, on September 11, declared Simon Lalong, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the Senator-elect representing Plateau South.
The tribunal’s decision was based on irregularities in the PDP primaries that produced Bali.
Tribunal’s Basis for Decision
The Tribunal cited the PDP’s failure to comply with a Jos High Court order, which mandated the party to conduct ward congresses, as the reason for ruling in favor of Lalong and the APC, which filed a petition against the election outcome.
The Tribunal’s ruling highlighted the importance of adhering to court orders and judgments, as mandated by the 1999 Constitution.
Appeal Court’s Confirmation
The Appeal Court, in its recent judgment, affirmed the decision of the Tribunal, thereby confirming Simon Lalong’s victory as the Senator representing Plateau South.
Justice Williams Daudu held that the PDP’s failure to conduct a valid congress in compliance with the court order was a pivotal factor in the court’s decision.
Simon Lalong’s Dual Roles
It’s worth noting that President Bola Tinubu has appointed Simon Lalong as a Minister, and Lalong has already assumed his ministerial duties.
This situation presents a unique scenario where an individual holds the role of both a federal minister and a senator-elect, making his position significant in Plateau South and at the national level.
The Appeal Court’s affirmation of Simon Lalong’s victory as the Senator representing Plateau South settles the election dispute, and he now assumes dual roles as both a Minister of Labour and Employment and a senator-elect.
The ruling emphasizes the importance of compliance with court orders and reaffirms the significance of court decisions in electoral matters.