Plateau: Sacked 16 PDP lawmakers seek reinstatement

THE Plateau State House of Assembly, lawmakers under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the court’s judgement that annulled their elections.

The appellate court had previously sacked all elected PDP members in the state assembly on the grounds that their party lacked the structure to present candidates in an election.

However, after the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Caleb Mutfwang’s election as the state governor, the sacked lawmakers have maintained that they remained members of the House.

They claimed that the Supreme Court’s ruling had reinstated 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 according to Order 6 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal, 2021, they are seeking their reinstatement into the House.

They are seeking, among other things, “An order setting aside the decision of this Honourable court in appeal No. CA/J/EP/PL/SHA/62/2023, Dagogot Karyt Owen & Anor Vs Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), & Ors on 24th November, 2023, per E.O Williams-Dawodu, Abdul-Azez Waziri and E.O Abang, JCA.”

Their counsel, Garba Pwul (SAN), argued in the motions that the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

They contended that the Supreme Court’s decision, which upheld the nomination and sponsorship of the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang, is sufficient justification for the Court of Appeal to reinstate them after overturning its previous ruling.

The lawmakers had stormed the Old Government House, the Assembly’s plenary meeting location, in late January to demand their reinstatement.

The Speaker of the House, Gabriel Dewan Kudagbena, has not yet administered the oath of office to APC members who are the recipients of the Court of Appeal ruling.

According to the Speaker, his decision was based on subsisting court orders.

    Speaking on the development, Ishaku Maren, the spokesman for the 16 PDP lawmakers, said they were happy with the Speaker’s stance and would wait for the Assembly to decide.

    The ICIR reported that the Supreme Court reinstated Caleb Mutfwang as Governor of Plateau state on Friday, January 12.

    In a ruling on Friday, a five-man panel of justices of the court, led by Emmanuel Agim, reversed the judgment of the Appeal Court that sacked Mutfwang as governor.

    The court ruled that the validity of nomination and sponsorship were not grounds to void an election.

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