From Agabus Pwanagba, Jos
The National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau State has upheld the election of former Governor Jonah Jang as the Senator representing Plateau
North District at the Senate.
Delivering judgment on Saturday in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Lanre Akeredolu, held that the petition lacks merit in every facet.
“The petition fails in its entirety and it is hereby dismissed,” the tribunal said.
Justice Akeredolu also ordered that the cost charge of N200,000 be paid to the first and second respondent, instead of the N3 million their counsel had argued for.
Responding, Counsel to PDP and Senator Jonah Jang, S. Oyawole, said “Justice has been done to the parties and to the society at large. The people of Plateau North Senatorial District, on the 28th, March, 2015, elected Jonah David Jang, as the Senator representing that zone, the decision of the tribunal just rendered, simply vindicated that”.
However, Counsel to the APC candidate, Jim Gotom, said they will study the judgment before making any comment.
Meanwhile, an elated State Acting PDP Chairman, Hon. Raymond Dabo, said: “The election of Senator Jonah Jang has been confirmed by the court, and the judgment was symbolic and a landmark judgment, we are happy as a party.
“My reaction to all these cases as a party and as people of Plateau State is that we should brace up to the challenges of true reconciliation and peace, so that we all enjoy the dividends of democracy”.
It would be recalled that the APC candidate for the March, 28th, 2015 polls, Eunice Ayisa Sambo, had filed a petition on the 17th, April, 2015, through her Counsel, Garba Pwul (SAN), challenging the election of Jang.
Pwul said: “The major ground of our petition is that if you calculate the lawful and valid votes, you will discover that the candidate of the APC won the majority of the votes. However, some invalid votes were taken into account which apparently gave her opponent the victory. So if you remove all those invalid votes, you will discover that she emerges the winner.
“The second major ground is that in three local governments namely Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom; there were violations of electoral laws and regulations, such as failure to use the Card Reader, voting without PVC, voting without accreditation. If you throw away such votes, that will give our client, the candidate for the APC, a landslide victory. These are the two grounds on which we