Daniel Bwala, a spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council for the 2023 election, asserted that the recent judgment leading to the removal of Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, sets a precedent.
He noted that the precedent may influence the outcome of the Ebonyi governorship election case. Bwala shared his views during an interview on Channels Television on Monday.
Bwala expressed concern over Governor Mutfwang’s removal, citing improper nomination as the grounds, and argued that the governor was duly nominated during the party’s primary. The Court of Appeal, in a judgment on Sunday, ordered the withdrawal of Mutfwang’s certificate of return and the issuance of a fresh one to Nentawe Goshwe of the All Progressives Congress (APC), contending that the governor’s nomination by the PDP violated Section 285(2) of the Nigerian Constitution.
Drawing parallels, Bwala claimed that Ebonyi State faces similar issues in court. He alleged that Francis Nwifuru of the APC, who won the March 18 election, was not qualified to contest the poll. Bwala emphasized the need for consistent application of legal principles, stating, “If the Appeal Court has said that PDP scored an own goal in Plateau, it should also be said that APC scored the same own goal in Ebonyi State.”
He continued, “If we apply the principles of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Plateau State, then the judgment of the Appeal Court regarding the case in Ebonyi State should be predictable, except the Appeal Court will want to contradict itself.”
In the case of Ebonyi State, the PDP and its candidate, Ifeanyi Odii, are seeking the nullification of the election of Francis Nwifuru, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022. Odii contends that Governor Nwifuru was not qualified to contest the election on the APC platform as he was still a member of the PDP at the time.