Appeal Court affirms Lalong’s victory

The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos Friday affirmed the victory of Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong in the March 9 supplementary elections.

The PDP candidate Lt.- Gen. Jeremiah Useni (retd.) rejected the verdict and vowed to appeal against it at the apex court.

The five-member penal of the appellate court, which upheld the decision of the Justice H. A. Suleman-led Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, ruled that Useni failed to prove his allegations of forgery and electoral irregularities against Lalong and INEC, respectively.

Useni had claimed that Lalong was not qualified to contest the election having held three certificates with three different names and therefore guilty of forgery.

The court held that the four issues – qualification, forgery, malpractices and breach of electoral Act -which were put forward for determination were all decided in favour of Lalong and INEC.

Speaking shortly after the judgement, one of Useni’s counsels, Mr. Edward Pwajok, told newsmen that “our client has instructed us to appeal this judgement of the appellate court at the Supreme Court.”

“It is our conviction that we shall succeed with our appeal at the Supreme Court and reclaim the stolen mandate of our client,” he said.

Also speaking, the counsel to APC, Mr. Garba Pwul, said there was nothing wrong in Useni’s decision to head to the Supreme Court.

“We are not surprised about their decision to appeal this judgement; it is their right to do so and we are not opposing or afraid at all. What we want the people of Plateau to know is that Lalong will still emerge victorious at the Supreme Court, period.”

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