The Plateau State Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal,sitting in Jos, the state capital has ordered for the hearing of a chairmanship petition of Ubandoma Joshua Laven of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on merit by the Plateau State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal.
Chairman of the Appellate tribunal, Justice Arum Ashom gave the order in a judgement in the appeal of Ubandoma Joshua Laven and PDP against Kwarnim Nanloh of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission.
Our correspondnt recalls that upon the conduct of the October 10, 2018 councillorship chairmanship elections by PLASIEC and subsequent returned of Kwarnim Nanloh of APC as chairman of Langtang North, Ubandoma Joshua Laven and PDP approached the tribunal seeking for redress.
However, through preliminary objections and motions on notices, counsel to the respondents challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the petition on grounds of it being incompetent, statute barred and filed out of time.
Deciding on the objections raised, the tribunal chaired by Jovita Binjim with Jacob Longden and Isaiah Randa as members, struck out the petition which prompted the petitioners filing an appeal against that decision.
The ground for the appeal was for the Appeal Tribunal to determine whether they were heard on merit, if they were giving rights to fair hearing when the tribunal refused to use the two sets of results of the election presented before it and if the date for the declaration of the results were not wrongly calculated.
Deciding on the four issues raised, the Appeal Tribunal with Justice Arum Ashom as chairman with Nankwat Shaseet and Martin Omohwo as members, while resolving the four grounds for the appeal in favour of the appellants , said the appeal succeeds as there was miscarriage of justice by the lower tribunal.
Setting aside the ruling of the tribunal that dismissed the petition of the petitioners, the Chairman of the appeal Tribunal pointed out that arriving at that decision could not have arisen if the lower tribunal had looked at the witness statement of Kwarnim Nanloh which adduced to the fact that results were announced on October 16,2018 instead of October 10, 2018 as alluded to.
Consequently, the Appeal Tribunal chairman, Justice Are Ashom ordered the petition to be returned to the trial tribunal to be heard based on merit.
Reacting to the development, Ubandoma Joshua Laven said the ruling was a victory for the good people of Langtang North local government council.