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Court of Appeal decision to dismiss me is flawed – Mutfwang before the Supreme Court

Governor Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang of Plateau State has criticized the Court of Appeal's decision to remove him from office.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mutfwang the winner of the Plateau governorship election on March 20, with 525,299 votes, while Nentawe Yilwatda, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 481,370 votes.

Yilwatda and the APC petitioned the tribunal to challenge the outcome of the governorship election.

But the petition was rejected by the tribunal.

However, in November, a three-judge court of appeal panel led by Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu ruled that Mutfwang was not validly sponsored by the People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the elections.

Mutfwang subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the Plateau governor said he had not received a fair hearing at the court of appeal before annulling his election.

He said the dismissal of the seven issues he had raised before the Court of Appeal was contrary to the Supreme Court's directive that intermediate courts should rule on all matters referred to the Court.

Mutfwang said: “Eight issues were distilled and submitted to the court below for decision. Unfortunately, only one issue (of jurisdiction) was decided by the court below, leaving seven issues unaddressed.

“This court has stated in quite a number of cases that intermediate courts must rule on all issues brought before it. It may not limit itself to one or more issues for which its advice can provide a solution.

“This is to enable the apex court to benefit from their views in the case, should there be a need to consider other issues not decided by the intermediate court.

“We further believe that, having denied appellant due process, with respect to the Notice of Preliminary Objection and a Motion to Dismiss the Incompetent Grounds of Appeal, the lower court's decision to dismiss the same, with all consequences. with respect that is clearly flawed.”

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He asked the top court to overturn the appeal court's ruling and confirm his election as governor of Plateau.

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