The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos Plateau State, on Thursday, sacked two members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state’s House of Assembly, Maren Ishaku and Timothy Datong, representing Bokkos and Riyom constituencies respectively.
The tribunal subsequently declared Wallangko Ibrahim and Moses Dachum of the All Progressive Congress (APC), winners of the election in the constituencies.
The petitioners, Messrs. Ibrahim had Dachum earlier before the tribunal challenged the sponsorship of the lawmakers by the PDP on the ground that their party (PDP) has no structure and, therefore, is not qualified to sponsor candidates for an election.
The tribunal said the petitioners have the right to challenge the sponsorship of the PDP lawmakers.
It held that at the time of the election, PDP had no valid structure to sponsor a candidate as the party was in disobedience of a 26 November order of the Plateau State High Court for the party to conduct ward congresses.
The tribunal has so far sacked eight PDP lawmakers, including House of Representatives members and a senator on the same ground.
The two election tribunal panels in the state have given conflicting rulings on the matter. While the Muhammad Tukur-led panel ruled that the PDP’s failure to hold ward congresses meant it was ineligible to present candidates for the election, the Williams Rotimi-led panel held that the PDP is qualified to sponsor candidates because the issue of party structure is a pre-election matter.
The losing parties can appeal the ruling of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal.