The election of Caleb Mutfwang as governor in Plateau State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate has been validated by the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal, sitting in Jos in north-central Nigeria.
In its unanimous ruling, the three-member panel concluded that the petitioner had failed because it lacked merit. The judgment was handed down on Friday.
Mutfwang was announced the winner of the poll on March 20, by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Idris Amali. He gathered a total of 525,299 votes, beating 17 other candidates while Yilwatda polled 481,370 votes.
Yiltwatda and his party, the APC, had petitioned the tribunal to oust Mutfwang from the race and declare him the winner, claiming to have received the greatest number of legal votes cast.
The petitioners argued that Mutwang’s party had not legitimately nominated him to run for office since his party lacked the necessary structure.
The petitioners equally challenged the victory of the PDP governor over an alleged over-voting in the scores recorded for him by INEC
All three of the arguments made by the petitioner and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Nentawe Yilwatda were rejected by Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi, who read the ruling.
The PDP won in ten local government areas (LGAs), including Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Lantang North, Lantang South, Riyom, Mikang, Mangu, Jos East, Qua’an Pan, and Pokkos.
On the other hand, the APC had the highest votes in seven LGAs of Jos East, Kanke, Kanam, Pankshin, Shendam, Wase, and Jos North.