The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate for the March 9 governorship poll in Plateau State, Jeremiah Useni, on Friday asked the Election Petitions Tribunal to declare Governor Simon Lalong unqualified to contest the election which he won.

They claimed at the tribunal sitting in Jos that Lalong of the All Progressives Congress submitted a certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission bearing Simon Sule Bako instead of Simon Bako Lalong, which is the governor’s official name.

Counsel for the petitioners, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), argued that if it was discovered that Lalong did not qualify to contest the election, then the tribunal would have no need to enter further hearing on the main petitions they filed against the governor and his party regarding the election.

But lawyer for the APC, Mr Garba Pwul (SAN), faulted the PDP’s petition, arguing that it was 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.

Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Halima Salman, said they would rule on the matter during the final judgement.

Meanwhile, the tribunal on Friday said it had concluded a pre-hearing session on the petitions and would commence hearing on the main petitions on June 26, 2019.

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