The 16 sacked lawmakers of the Plateau State House of Assembly, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the court’s judgement that nullified their elections.
It would be recalled that the appeal court had sacked all the PDP lawmakers in the state assembly on the ground that their party lacked the structure to sponsor candidates in an election.
However, the sacked lawmakers have insisted that they are still members of the house following the Supreme Court’s judgement affirming the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang, whose case was also nullified at the Appeal Court on the same ground.
They argued that the Supreme Court judgement has restored their mandates.
The sacked lawmakers, Bala Fwanje Ndat and Datugun Paul Naankot, among others, in their motions on notice, CA/J/33M/2024, and CA/J/31/M/2024, said pursuant to Order 6 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal, 2021, they are also seeking for their reinstatement into the House.
Their counsel, Garba Pwul (SAN), argued in the motions that both the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter.
According to them, the Supreme Court’s judgement that validated the nomination and sponsorship of the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang, suffices to make their reinstatement by the Court of Appeal after setting aside its earlier judgement.
Daily Trust reports that the lawmakers had, late in January, stormed the Old Government House, the scheduled venue for the Assembly’s plenary, demanding their reinstatement.
Accompanied by their supporters, the lawmakers insisted on entering the plenary venue but were initially barred by police, who fired teargas into the sky. They were, however, eventually granted access to the venue’s premises, after the plenary had been concluded with the speaker and seven lawmakers whose seats were not subject to contest.
Addressing journalists after the plenary, Speaker Gabriel Daweng said he needed judicial interpretation of the judgments to decide on what to do.
Ishaku Maren, spokesman of the 16 sacked PDP lawmakers, while giving their position on the development, said they were satisfied with the position of the speaker and would wait for the Assembly to make a decision.(Daily trust)