Daughter of former Peoples Democratic Party national Chairman, Solomon Lar, Beni Lar, has vowed to reclaim her seat which was invalidated by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau state capital.
The Nation reported that Lar, who won reelection to represent Langtang North/ Langtang South Federal condtituency of Plateau state, had her election annulled on the ground that she was not validly nominated.
While describing the judgement up turning her election as ridiculous, Lar expressed confidence that the judgement will be over turned.
She said, “I believe that the Judiciary shall acquit itself from this obvious misapplication of the law.
“The Tribunal, whilst upholding the argument of the petitioner held that my nomination and candidacy was invalidly sponsored by my party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) thus upturning my victory. Several questions thus beg for answers.
“The election which held on the 25th February, 2023, was contested by several parties, the top 3 candidates from the PDP, APC and SDP respectively amongst which were, my humble self with a land sliding victory by 42, 008 votes, defeating the APC’s Vincent Bulus who gained about 21,345 votes and the SDP’s Solomon Dalung with 3,369 votes.
“The popular question thus on everybody’s mind is whether the PDP has complied with Hon. Justice SP Gang’s order to validly clothe the party with the structure and competence to support its candidates ahead of the 2023 elections.
“The answer is in the affirmative and evident by the successful congresses held and the elections of Executives’ members of the party conducted by the National Working Committee at the PDP headquarters, held in 2021.
“In line with compliance, INEC issued the certificate of compliance to this effect.These same congresses were affirmed by the federal High Court Jos in a judgment delivered by Hon Justice D. V . Agishi in the case of Augustine Timkuk vs PDP validating the State Executive of the Party as duly elected and this same judgment was also unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeal Jos in favour of the PDP.
“Therefore, the argument as to the structure of the PDP in plateau state has never been in doubt. Moreover, it is an abnormaly and gross meddling by the Petitioners (APC) to even hinge the weight of their petition on the structure of PDP which is an internal affair of the PDP and exclusive to it alone.
“The supreme court in a plethora of decisions have held thus and even recently the 2023 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal also held that “Nomination and qualification of candidate in an election is a pre-election matter and only an aspirant that contested the Primaries can challenge the nomination of a candidate and that must be done within 14 days from the date of the elections and no political party can do that.
“Section 285 (9) of the 1999 Constitution prescribes the timeline for filing pre-election matters as 14 days. In similar light, section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act, 2022 also states that every pre-election matter shall be filed not later than 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the event, decision or action complained of in the suit.
“The Supreme Court has further solidified this position in a plethora of decisions. The case of Lokpobiri v APC & ors, is very instructive. This is assuming but not conceding that there is any ground to challenge my candidacy at the primaries.
“The decision therefore by his Lordship, Justice Mohammed Tukur, is an aberration and gross departure from the Law. It is a clear case of miscarriage of justice and an abuse of the judicial system of precedence. It holds no substance and must be condemned on all fronts.
“It is rather ridiculous that the ruling of his Lordship is grossly contradictory to that of it’s counterpart panel 2 on the same issue. Same matter, same parties, same state, but different decisions from courts of Coordinate jurisdiction. This is unimaginable.”