Sacked Plateau PDP lawmakers return to court, seek reinstatement

The 16 sacked members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have approached the Court of Appeal, seeking to set aside the earlier judgement of the same court that nullified their elections.

Recall that the Court of Appeal had nullified the election of all the PDP lawmakers in the State Assembly on the ground that their party lacked structure to sponsor candidates in the election.

However, the sacked legislators 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 Court of Appeal.

They believe that the Supreme Court’s judgement has vindicated them.

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The sacked lawmakers, including Bala Fwanje Ndat and Datugun Paul Naankot, among others, in their motion on notice, with suit No: CA/J/33M/2024 and CA/J/31/M/2024, said pursuant to order 6 rules 1 of the Court of Appeal, 2021, they should be reinstated into the House.

This was part of their reliefs presented by their counsel, Garba Paul, SAN, who argued that both the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter.

The sacked legislators said their ground as contained in the motions were predicated upon the fact that, “the judgement of the Court delivered on the 24th day of November, 2023, is a nullity.”

They are seeking “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.”

According to them, the Supreme Court judgement that validated the nomination and sponsorship of Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, suffices that the Court of Appeal should set aside its earlier judgement.

Recall that the lawmakers had made an attempt to return to the House of Assembly, a move that nearly triggered a political crisis in the state.

At the moment, members of the APC who are beneficiaries of the Court of Appeal judgement are yet to be sworn-in by the Speaker of the House, Gabriel Dewan Kudagbena.

The Speaker hinged his decision on conflicting court orders.

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