In anticipation of the Supreme Court hearing on his case, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has criticized the Court of Appeal’s decision to remove him from office, labeling it as flawed and unjust.
In his brief presented to the Supreme Court, led by his counsel Kanu Agabi, SAN, Governor Mutfwang argued that, of the eight issues presented to the court for determination, only one was considered. This singular focus formed the basis for the judgment, neglecting the remaining seven crucial issues outlined in his brief.
Mutfwang, through his legal team, further contends that the Court of Appeal denied them a fair hearing by dismissing their notice of preliminary objection and a motion to strike out incompetent grounds of appeal.
Asserting that a fresh hearing was denied, Mutfwang is urging the Supreme Court to declare null and void the previous proceedings and judgment of the Court of Appeal, which nullified his election.
The governor emphasized, “This court has stated in quite a number of cases that intermediate courts should pronounce on all issues placed before it. It should not restrict it to one or more issues, which its opinion may dispose of the matter.”
In response to the Court of Appeal’s decision on November 19, which declared that Mutfwang was not sponsored by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the governor listed eight reasons in his brief before the Supreme Court, advocating for the validation of his election.
Mutfwang argued that the issue of nomination and sponsorship, the foundation of the petition, is an internal matter of the 4th respondent (PDP), and therefore, the 1st and 2nd respondents (Goshwe of APC) lacked the standing to contest it.
He also challenged the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction, pointing out that disobedience of a court order is not a ground for maintaining an election petition. Mutfwang asserted that the lower court, in relying on evidence, erred in discrediting exhibits U and 2RA3, which demonstrated compliance with state congress procedures.
Additionally, the governor accused the first and second respondents of failing to meet the burden of proof and asserted that the lower court denied him a fair hearing by dismissing his notice of preliminary objection and motion without proper consideration.
In conclusion, Mutfwang urged the Supreme Court to allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of the lower court, and affirm him as the duly elected governor of Plateau State, citing the legal principle, “Wherever there is a wrong, there must be a remedy.”