The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State and its gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections, Senator Jeremiah Useni, on Friday asked the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to disqualify Governor Simon Lalong for presenting fake certificate.
According to PDP and its candidate, in processes filed at the Tribunal sitting in Jos, Lalong was ineligible to assume the position of Governor, having submitted a different certificate to the electoral umpire (INEC) bearing different name to that of the present Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong.
The name in contention is “Simon Sule Bako” instead of Simon Bako Lalong, which the governor is officially known.
The petitioners through their Counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), argued that if it is 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 the governor and the All Progressives Congress regarding the polls.
Ozekhome urged the Tribunal, which is currently conducting pre-trial to rule on the matter before commencing hearing on the main petitions.
But Counsel to the APC, Garba Pwul (SAN) in his reply faulted PDP and Useni’s petition.
Pwul argued that it is 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.
However, Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Halima Salman said ruling on the matter will be delivered during the final judgement.
Meantime, the Tribunal said it has concluded pre-hearing session on Governorship petitions and will commence hearing on the main petitions on 26th June, 2019.