The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Sunday, 18th November 2023, sacked the governor of Plateau state, Caleb Mutfwang, and declared the All Progressive Congress APC, Candidate, Nentawe Goshwe, winner of the March 18th 2023 elections in Plateau State.
The incumbent Governor Caleb Mutfwang, representing the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, was removed from office as the court upheld Goshwe’s appeal, citing discrepancies in Mutfwang’s party nomination and sponsorship.
Mutfwang secured 525,299 votes, surpassing Goshwe’s 481,370 votes during the election.
However, Goshwe contested the results, asserting that Mutfwang’s candidacy lacked valid nomination and breached Electoral Act guidelines.
Initially, the tribunal, led by Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh, dismissed Goshwe’s petition, considering it without merit. Unyielding, Goshwe appealed the tribunal’s decision.
In a critical ruling, the three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, pointed to constitutional and electoral provisions.
Citing section 177 of the Constitution and section 134 of the Electoral Act, the court highlighted the pivotal role of a party in sponsoring a candidate, stating that Mutfwang’s sponsorship by the PDP didn’t meet the legal criteria.
Consequently, the Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to revoke Mutfwang’s certificate of return and issue a fresh one to Goshwe.