A former speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Istifanus Mawnsat has opened up on why there is anxiety on the Plateau over the governorship election petition, saying that “a thief has given notice that he is coming”
He spoke in an interview on Arise TV on Saturday night ahead of the Sunday judgment of the Court of Appeal on the governorship petition filed by the APC against the PDP winner of the election, Barr Caleb Mutfwang. Mawnsat said that there was ordinarily no reason to have been anxious but for the boast of the opposition.
He spoke in reference of the claim by a member of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Gagdi who boasted in a rally to the effect that the All Progressives Congress, APC had more connections in the judiciary than the PDP.
GWG.ng reports that the boast and the contradictory judgments by the tribunals and the Court of Appeal which has against the decree of the Supreme Court resurrected pre-election materials has raised anxiety on the plateau.
Specifically asked on why there is anxiety on the plateau over the governorship by Arise News anchor, Charles Ogodo, Mawnsat said:
“In the strict sense of the word, what is anxiety? Naturally, we are not supposed to be anxious because we were anxious before the election results were declared. Now, that anxiety went bye, because the votes counted and winners were declared.
“Now, when a thief gives you a notice that he is visiting you, off course, there will be apprehension because when you are put on notice that what you deliberately and legitimately belongs to you is about to be taken over by someone else, there must be apprehension.
“When winners were declared after the 2023 election, we have heard people making pronouncements with definite certainty that they know who they know, but we don’t know who they know and therefore when we meet in court that is when we will know who they know. It is a clear message that what clearly belongs to you that there is a level of compromise somehow.
Because when you look at the judgments that are being churned out particularly oon the Plateau: We have two panels, Panel 1 and Panel 2, same issues, same facts but giving two different judgments.
Panel 1 gave a judgment to the effect that PDP does not have a structure, but Panel 2 gave a judgment that PDP has a structure.
“Are you talking about the qualification of candidates or the qualification of candidates that sponsored those candidates? There are constitutional provisions with regard to the qualifications of candidates. Relevant sections of the Constitution address those issues and for
“As long as a political party is duly registered by INEC it is so qualified to nominate candidates as it is its internal affairs. So, when you have courts giving judgments to challenge the procedures for producing or nominating candidates then it goes to tell you that it is another wonder of the world,” Mawnsat said in explaining the anxiety over the Plateau governorship petition at the Court of Appeal