Home / News / Local / Plateau Governorship tussle: Proceed immediately to Supreme Court on appeal, Useni tells lawyers; ‘Fighting him is like fighting a father,’ – Gov. Lalong  

Plateau Governorship tussle: Proceed immediately to Supreme Court on appeal, Useni tells lawyers; ‘Fighting him is like fighting a father,’ – Gov. Lalong  

Gov. Simon Lalong (Left) and Senator Jeremaiah Useni

Jos;

Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja

Lt-Gen. Jeremiah Useni, the Governorship Candidate of  the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau in the 2019 elections, on Friday instructed his lawyers to proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the victory of Gov. Simon Lalong.

The court delivered its judgment on Friday.

However, reacting to the ruling of the Appeal Court in his favour and Gen. Useni’s decision to head to the Supreme Court, Gov. Lalong said he has not lost focus in the state following the unfolding political situation.

He said this while speaking with State House Correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Lalong, who expressed delight over the judgement, said that his opponent’s decision to proceed to the Supreme Court would not distract him.

He said: “Fighting him is like fighting a father, it’s unfortunate but for me; I say my focus is Plateau State.

“We have done that in the first election, he was defeated, he said no, they will go back for a re-run, I said let’s go back for rerun.

”We went back for rerun I defeated him; he said no he was going to the tribunal.

“We went to the first tribunal; he said he is a general he doesn’t fight and retire, he will go to the Supreme Court.

“That I think is to make me lose focus; but I have not lost any focus in Plateau State. As he is moving, I am becoming more determined.”

He said that a lot of development was going on in Plateau as had been attested to by Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

He said that he was restoring peace and bringing development to the people of the state.

He said he was grateful to God for the judgment and also expressed confidence in the judiciary.

Speaking on an indigene of the state who recently exhibited an automobile, he said his vision was to bring out such young people.

”I am focusing on bringing out young talents and after he manufactured a tractor and became the overall, immediately I encouraged him, today he has produced a car. So, what we exhibited yesterday was for people to come.

”If you are asking people to be like Innoson and to produce cars in Nigeria, we have young talents from Plateau that can manufacture cars.

“So, he did that and you saw the car; what we are doing was exhibiting him outside and we are asking people to come and help him so that we will start producing those cars in Plateau; made in Plateau car,” he said.

Gen. Useni gave  the instruction to proceed to the Supreme Court during a review meeting with his legal team  shortly after the appellate gave its judgement on his appeal against the decision of the Plateau Governorship Election Tribunal.

The  candidate said that “certain issues contained in the judgment must be straightened in the interest of justice, democracy and the future of Nigeria’s children.

“Our cause is the right cause. We should not make the law look as if it is not important. Let the Supreme Court declare whether lying on oath is not against the law.

“The judgment of the appellate court is a surprise to me and members of PDP, especially having dismissed the two cross appeals of the cross  appellants  as lacking in merit and an abuse of court process.

“We are also surprised that the judgment, delivered by Hon Justice O.A Otisi completely avoided making any pronouncement on an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court which reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal expunging the testimony of 21 of his witnesses,” he alleged.

He, however, praised his legal team for holding strongly to the tenets of the profession and in bringing the issues in the petition to the forefront.

He commended the lawyers for standing firmly on the side of the rule of law and democracy.

Useni equally thanked PDP officials, stakeholders, and supporters for standing strong and united all through the period the case lasted at both the tribunal and now the Court of Appeal.

He said  that the mandate of the people of Plateau given  to him and PDP was sacrosanct and would  still enjoy his support and commitment.

The legal team, led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, with Edward Pwajok, SAN, Benson Igbanoi, Sunny-Gabriel Odey, and many other legal experts is expected to lodge the appeal at the Supreme Court within two weeks.

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