President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, is set to resign as a minister to represent Plateau South Senatorial District in the Senate.
This followed the collection of his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja on Thursday, November 23, 2023.
The Court of Appeal had, on November 7, sacked Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and declared Lalong as the senator representing Plateau South.
The appellate court nullified the participation of the PDP and Bali in the February 25 National Assembly election on grounds of refusal to carry out the order of court.
The court in a judgement delivered by Justice Elfaida Williams-Dawodu held as unlawful and wasted, votes cast for PDP in the election.
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Justice Williams-Dawodu declared Lalong, the immediate past governor of Plateau State as the Senator for Plateau South.
Lalong who contested the election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had come second in the senatorial election.
Justice Williams-Dawodu, however, held that the PDP and its candidate have no legal ground to participate in the election having failed to obey the judgement of a Plateau High Court.
The court added that the party should have conducted lawful elections for the purpose of having officers for Wards, Local Governments, and State Council.
The Plateau High Court had, in 2022, ordered PDP to conduct elections for selection of officers for Wards, Local Governments, and the state chapter of the party which was not complied with.
The Court of Appeal said that disobedience and disregard to clear lawful order of court was fatal because PDP hurriedly put an illegal Caretaker Committee in place in confrontation to the court judgement.
Specifically, the appellate court held that PDP did not sponsor any candidate for the Plateau South Senatorial District because it was not qualified to stand for any election as of February 25, 2023.
The Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the declaration of Lalong as the lawful senator for Plateau South Senatorial District having scored second highest votes in the election.