Plateau gov: Lalong not qualified to contest poll, Useni tells tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate  for the March 9  governorship poll in Plateau State, Jeremiah Useni, on Friday  asked the Election Petitions Tribunal to declare Governor  Simon Lalong  unqualified to contest the election which he won.

They claimed  at  the tribunal sitting in Jos that Lalong of the All Progressives Congress  submitted a certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission  bearing  Simon Sule Bako instead of Simon Bako Lalong, which  is the  governor’s  official name.

Counsel for the  petitioners, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), argued that if it was discovered that Lalong   did not qualify to contest the election, then the tribunal would have no need to  enter  further hearing on the main petitions  they  filed against the governor and   his party regarding the election.

But lawyer for  the APC, Mr Garba Pwul (SAN), faulted the PDP’s  petition, arguing  that it was  a pre-election matter which should not be entertained by the tribunal and that the same name was used by the governor during his first term without any problem.

Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Halima Salman,  said  they would rule  on the matter during the final judgement.

Meanwhile, the tribunal on Friday said it had concluded a  pre-hearing session on the petitions and would  commence hearing on the main petitions on June 26,  2019.
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