Senator Napoleon Bali, the Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, has said that he will appeal the decision of the tribunal in Plateau state, saying that the grounds on which the tribunal nullified his win at the 2023 senatorial elections are not acceptable.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, Bali spoke on the grounds of his nullification that said the PDP had no structure, and as such, could not file a candidate for election. He read part of a supreme court judgement which said, “The issue of leadership, membership, and sponsorship of a political party is completely an internal affair of the party, and it is within the political party’s jurisdiction and is a no-go area for any court,” using this to emphasize that the state of the PDP should not be a reason for his removal from his post.
Also responding to the grounds that INEC did not follow standard electoral procedures, Bali said, “I was cleared, because my form was sold to me from the National Working Committee. PDP is a registered party, and I was clearly nominated, and during the primaries, my form was signed by Bature. It has nothing to do with the structure in Plateau state. INEC is very much in compliance with the law, and Justice Williams, in passing the seven judgements in our favour in this same tribunal, is in compliance with the law. But the other one, whether the Justice- how he looked at it and nullified my nomination is what I don’t know.”
Bali then said that although he, as a democrat, did not plan to file for an appeal, he will be doing so on behalf of his people, saying, “Ordinarily, I am a democrat now, I wouldn’t have gone for appeal. But the overwhelming protests and outrage at the Plateau southern zone, I can tell you, with these difficulties, people are contributing money that I must appeal. Of course, I have listened to them.”
Bali of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and senator for the Plateau South senatorial district, was removed from office by an election petition tribunal in Jos, which subsequently recognized Simon Lalong, the All- Progressives Congress’ (APC) immediate former governor of the state, as the duly elected senator for the Plateau South district.
The APC and the Labour Party had filed petitions against Bali’s win on the grounds that the PDP was unstructured, and therefore, could not file candidates for the election. They also added that INEC did not comply with the new Electoral Act and guidelines as of the time of conducting the election.
Justice Omaka Elekwo then sacked Bali as a Senator because the PDP disregarded a Jos High Court order to hold ward congresses prior to the most recent general elections.