Plateau State Governor Faces Judicial Reversal as Residents Rally Against Appellate Court’s Decision

In response to the recent Court of Appeal ruling that removed Governor Caleb Mutfwang from office, Jos residents have taken to the streets in protest, denouncing the judgment and demanding a review of all election-related decisions by the court in Plateau State.

Governor Mutfwang, who had previously commended Nigerian judges for their commendable work, now finds himself at the center of a judicial storm following the appellate court’s ruling. The governor had lauded the judiciary for its role in upholding justice, a sentiment that sharply contrasts with the current situation where the same judicial system has removed him from office.

During a peaceful demonstration on Sunday, the residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the appellate court’s decision, which overturned the governorship election tribunal’s verdict that had affirmed Mr. Mutfwang’s victory.

The court declared Nentawe Yilwatda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful winner and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Mr. Yilwatda. However, the residents labeled this decision as an “injustice.”

Philemon Jangkam, the youth leader of Angwan Rukuba Junction, voiced concerns over what he perceived as a pattern of injustice, citing the earlier sackings of Rep Isaac Kwallu, Senator Simon Mwadkon, Rep Dachung Bagos, and other lawmakers. He urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to review all judgments related to the 2023 elections in Plateau.

Expressing discontent, Samson Iliya criticized the appeal court’s judgments as a deliberate subversion of the people’s will. The peaceful protest aimed to convey their displeasure with the judiciary, urging the NJC to reconsider all decisions to restore faith in the judicial process.

“We massively voted for the governor and the sacked lawmakers; they are the choices of the majority of Plateau people, and we will not allow the judiciary to decide who should lead us,” added Mr. Iliya.

Pankyes Yanksat, a youth from Gyero Junction, encouraged Governor Mutfwang to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court promptly. Mr. Yanksat expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would impartially assess the merits of the case and potentially restore Mutfwang’s mandate.

The protest eventually dispersed as security personnel intervened, highlighting the tense atmosphere surrounding the contested judgments in Plateau State.

IMAGE: Voice of Liberty

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