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News Commentary – The 16 Plateau PDP lawmakers and a call for restraints over Supreme court judgment

Written by on January 23, 2024

It is written by our News and Current Affairs Department

Some hours ago , the 16 lawmakers of the Plateau state House of Assembly who were recently sacked from their position following a Court of Appeal judgement jolted many Nigerians when they announced their plans to resume their legislative duties today being Tuesday .

It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had in November sacked all the 16 members of the state House of Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP on the ground that the party had no structure to nominate them as candidates.

Addressing a press conference in Jos on Monday, the 16 lawmakers led by a former lawmaker representing Bokkos constituency Maren Ishaku, argued that since the Supreme Court which upheld the election of the state Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, on the same issue had ruled that the PDP had valid structure to nominate them as candidates, the verdict of the appeal court sacking them as lawmakers had become a nullity.

The embattled lawmakers expressed regrets that the Court of Appeal justices passed judgments sacking them in disregard to settled Supreme Court judgments on the matter.

They called the Nigerian authorities led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as the heads of the Nigerian judiciary to sanction the President of the Court of Appeal under whose watch the alleged illegality was committed.

They also called on the beneficiaries of the Court of Appeal judgments sacking them who are mostly members of the opposition APC not to go near the state Assembly because they were not elected by the people but a product of fraudulent judgment that has been overruled by the apex court.

However in a swift reaction ,The state chapter of the All Progressives Congress has also described the planned resumption of the PDP lawmakers as an invitation to anarchy and a threat to democracy .

State Publicity Secretary of the APC,Sylvanus Namang who made their position known in a statement noted that the Supreme Court judgement which awarded victory to Governor Caleb Mutfwang is personal to him and had no multiplier or spill-over effect on anyone already sacked.

The APC insisted that the Appeal Court judgment which sacked the 16 PDP State House of Assembly members and all its National Assembly members has a stamp of finality on the fate of the affected lawmakers .
Be that as it may ,the truth is that as sad as the court of Appeal judgement regarding the fate of the PDP lawmakers is ,the law must be allowed to take it’s course on the matter .

The 1999 constitution stipulates in section 246 sub-section 3 that the decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of the appeals arising from the National and State House of Assembly elections shall be final .

What this means is that the 16 PDP lawmakers can not rely on the Judgement of the Supreme court and want to return to the Plateau state House of Assembly even if the Appeal court decision is not in their favour

Therefore ,it will amount to self help for them to hide under any Supreme court decision in their bid to reclaim their mandate when the laws had made it clear that all litigations regarding their elections should terminate at the Appeal court .

This radio station believes that the Court of Appeal judgement sacking the 16 PDP state legislators and National Assembly members remains an injustice done to the people but the affected lawmakers must exercise restraints and ensure that every legitimate approach is adopted in their quest for justice


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