The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been excluded from Saturday’s election in Plateau North Senatorial District and Jos North/ Bassa Federal Constituency.
An INEC source revealed that: “Having considered the legal advice, INEC has dropped PDP from the ballot in deference to the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which is the final arbiter on disputes from National Assembly poll.
“The appellate court said Mwadkwon was not validly nominated by the PDP for the election because 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) did not participate in the congress that elected him as candidate of the party for the election.
“INEC cannot afford to be lawless. Apart from court pronouncement, INEC is not part of any political compromise. Even when INEC met with the leadership of PDP on January 8, 2024, it made it clear that the party will be excluded from the poll. We are standing by this decision.
“Even this week, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja struck out an application for an order of Mandamus by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to compel INEC to allow it and its candidates to participate in the 3rd February 2024. The judge said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain election matters, and the applicants did not follow the due process of the law to initiate the matter.”
It was learnt that security agencies have put the State under watch for the poll just as all the parties have been warned to respect the Appeal Court ruling on the previous polls in the district and federal constituency.
With the PDP now out, the senatorial by-election may be a stiff contest between Chris Giwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gyang Zi of the Labour Party (LP).
Even with 11 parties cleared by the electoral commission for the poll, the battle may be between the APC and the LP.
The situation, it was further learnt, could make the PDP members to engage in protest vote for the LP..
The Court of Appeal had removed a former Senate Minority Leader, Simon Mwadkwon, who was declared winner of the February 25, 2023 poll by INEC.
Also, the Court of Appeal invalidated INEC’s declaration of Musa Avia-Agah as winner of the Jos North/ Bassa Federal Constituency.