The National State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal has overturned the election victory of Timothy Dantong from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Moses Dachum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Riyom State Constituency election held on March 18. The verdict, delivered by the Justice B.M Tukur-led panel, cited the absence of a valid PDP structure during the election due to the party’s non-compliance with a court order issued by Justice S P Gang of the Plateau State High Court on November 26, 2020.
In a related development, the Plateau State House of Assembly Election Tribunal, presided over by Justice William Rotimi, Chairman of the Panel, upheld the victory of the Member representing Langtang North State Constituency of Plateau State. The tribunal’s decision followed a failure by the petitioner, Hon. Nimchak Abel Nansak of the APC, to substantiate allegations of overvoting in the election against the Respondents.
Justice Emmanuel Nwazunke, who read the judgement, emphasized the petitioner’s inability to meet the burden of proof required. The case had centered on issues of non-compliance with the Electoral Act of 2022 and the PDP’s alleged lack of structure in Plateau State to nominate candidates for the election. However, the Tribunal confirmed that the PDP had established a robust structure in Plateau State following a congress held on September 25, 2021, in Langfield, Jos South Local Government of Plateau State.
These decisions mark significant milestones in the post-election legal landscape in Plateau State, with the political and legal communities closely watching the unfolding developments.