Gyang Bere, Jos
The People’s Democratic Party in Plateau State and it’s governorship candidate in 2019 general elections,Senator Jeremiah Useni governorship election has asked the tribunal to declare Governor Simon Lalong ineligible to contest the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The PDP and its governorship candidate, in a petition filed at the tribunal sitting in Jos, maintained that Lalong was ineligible to assume the position of governor, having submitted a different certificate to INEC bearing different name from that of the present governor of Plateau state, Simon Bako Lalong.
The name in the contention is Simon Sule Bako instead of Simon Bako Lalong which the governor is officially known and addressed as.
The petitioners through their counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) argued that if it was discovered that the governor did not qualify to contest the election, then the tribunal would have no need to enter further hearing on the main petitions which they filed against him and the All Progressives Congress regarding the election.
He urged that the tribunal which was conducting pre-trial to rule on the matter before commencing hearing on the main petitions.
But counsel to the APC, Mr Garba Pwul, SAN, in his reply faulted the PDP petition and urged the tribunal to strike it out based on technicalities.
He argued 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 that ruling would be delivered on the matter during the final judgement.
Meanwhile, the tribunal on Friday, said it had concluded pre-hearing session on the governorship petitions and would commence hearing on the main petitions on June 26, 2019.