The Appellate Court held that PDP acted in breach of a subsisting court order when it sponsored the lawmakers as candidates for the National Assembly election on February 25.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been hit by judicial judgments, which saw some of its members lose their respective seats to opponents in the National Assembly.
No fewer than six of its members in both chambers of the nation’s legislature were sacked by the Court of Appeal, a development that has left tongues wagging.
The legislators affected include two Senators, Simon Mwadkwon and Napoleon Bali, and four members of the House of Representatives – Dachung Bagos, Beni Lar, Isaac Kwalu, and Peter Gyendeng Ibrahim as members of the House of Representatives.
Recall that an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, in separate judgments affirmed the nullification of the election of the lawmakers by the Election Petitions Tribunal, and sacked them. It held that the PDP acted in breach of a subsisting court order when it fielded them as its candidates for the National Assembly election that was held in the state on February 25. It also directed that their certificates of return be withdrawn and issued to the first runners-up.
Expectedly, the decision of the court has led to protests across the North central state, with calls for a review of the judgment, and the disbandment of the Plateau State Election Appeal Panel.
What you need to know about the sacked lawmakers
Simon Davou Mwadkwon (PDP, Plateau North)
Simon Mwadkwon was serving his first term as a Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 10th Senate. until his expulsion, he was the Minority Leader of the Senate.
In November, the Appeal Court sacked Mwadkwon as Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District and ordered a rerun in the Plateau North Senatorial zone within 90 days.
Born in 1961, Mwadkwon was also a member of the House of Representatives, between 2011 and 2019, where he represented Barkin Ladi/ Riyom Federal Constituency.
According to data by OrderPaper in the 9th National Assembly Appraisals (Third Session), Mwadkwon sponsored a total of 23 bills during his time in the House of Representatives, making him one of the top performers in the Green Chamber.
He was also a semi-finalist of OrderPaper’s Most Valuable Parliamentarian (MVP) Hall of Fame as a Top Performer in the House Of Representatives Newbies.
Mwadkwon served as the Executive Chairman of Riyom Local Government Council from 2009 to 2011. Before that, he was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Religious Studies at the University of Jos.
He also served as the Chairman of Berom Youth Movement (BYM) Apata branch Jos North 1996-98, Secretary of Tula Berom University of Jos 1997-98, Chairman of Plateau Youth Council Riyom branch 1997-98, and the National President of Berom Youth Movement 2004-2007.
Napoleon Bali (PDP, Plateau South)
Senator Bali was also serving his first term as Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 10th Senate.
The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos sacked Bali, and declared Simon Bako Lalong, a former Governor of the State, as the winner of the election on grounds that the results of the election did not reflect the will of the people and refused to carry out a lawful order of Court.
Before joining politics, the 59-year-old had a career in the military, where he retired as the Air Vice Marshal (AVM) from the Nigeria Air Force.
Bagos was serving his second term as member representing Jos South and East Federal Constituency in the House. He was first elected in 2019, and re-elected in 2023.
During his first term in the 9th Assembly, the 46-year-old lawmaker sponsored 33 bills, the highest by any federal lawmaker from his State. Some of the bills he sponsored are; the National Biotechnology Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019, and the Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (Establishment) Bill, 2019.
He was Deputy Chairman House Committee on Anti-Corruption in the 9th Assembly and was appointed Chairman, the House Committee on Science and Technology, the position he held until he was sacked by the Court.
Lar is a 5th term lawmaker representing Langtang North and Langtang South Constituency in the House of Representatives.
She was first elected to the House in 2007 and retained the seat until the National and State House of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Plateau State nullified her victory in the 2023 election. The panel hinged the nullification of Lar’s victory on the failure of her party to conduct a valid nomination of her candidacy to contest the election and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Vincent Bulus as the rightful winner of the election. The judgment was upheld by the Appeal court.
The 56-year-old was once the Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs. She is the daughter of late Chief Solomon Lar, a former Governor of Plateau State and founding National Chairman of the PDP.
In August, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas appointed Lar chairman Committee on Science Research Institutions with Modifications. She previously chaired the Committee on Science and Technology for two terms.
Kwallu is the former chairman of Qua’an-pan Local Government Area, Plateau State on the platform of the APC. In 2022, he defected to the PDP and contested to represent Shendam/Quaapan/Mikang Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives.
However, he was disqualified from contesting the 2023 general election for Shendam/Quaapan/Mikang Federal Constituency of Plateau State. The court declared John Dafa’an of the APC, the winner of the election.
Peter Gyendeng Ibrahim
Gyendeng Ibrahim represents the Barkin Ladi/Riyom constituency in the 10th National Assembly.
He was a former member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, where he represented Barkin Ladi constituency. He was one of the state lawmakers who impeached the then Speaker of the State Assembly, Peter Ajang Azi in 2018.
The sack of these lawmakers alongside the State Governor, who was also sacked by an Abuja Appellate Court on Sunday, has led to protests around the State.
Earlier, the tribunal had upheld the elections of the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, candidate of PDP, the sacking of all lawmakers elected on his party’s platform by the appeal court further heightened tension in the state as to whether or not the Governor would survive the tsunami.
The PDP has also accused the election panel of bias as the acting National Chairman of the party, Umar Damagum, posited that the judgments show a dangerous pattern of alleged conflicting judicial pronouncement.