News

June 11, 2024

Reps move to intervene in Plateau State Assembly crisis

Plateau State Assembly

Plateau State House of Assembly

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the leadership of the National Assembly to intervene in the crisis surrounding the swearing-in of new members of the Plateau State House of Assembly.

Recall that the crisis erupted after the swearing-in of some members-elect while others were been denied the opportunity, despite meeting all the legal requirements.

The Court of Appeal had also nullified the certificates of return of 16 sitting members and ordered the issuance of new certificates to the new members.

The call by the House followed a motion by Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase during plenary in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Wase highlighted the crisis in the state assembly, noting that despite meeting legal requirements, some members-elect have not been sworn in, while others have been sworn in by the Speaker.

According to him, it is a denial of democracy and a threat to security in the state. He therefore urged the National Assembly leadership to intervene and ensure equity, fairness, and justice in the Plateau State House of Assembly.

“The Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly has refused to swear in all the new members, instead demanding that they submit letters of resignation with accompanying court affidavits as a condition for swearing-in.

“Failure to address the delays and biases in the swearing-in of the new members poses a threat to security in the state and undermines the principles of justice, fairness, and democracy.

“The Court of Appeal hearing appeals arising from judgements of the Plateau State Election Tribunal, made decisions which resulted in the nullification of Certificates of Return of 16 sitting members of the Plateau State House of Assembly and ordered the issuance of new Certificates of Return to the new Members by the Independent National Electoral Commission

“Under the Provisions Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission issued Certificates of Return to the new Members in compliance with the order of the Appeal Court and the Law

“Section 94 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 provides the procedure for the swearing-in of newly elected Members of a State House of Assembly.

“Members Elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly have met all the requirements of the law, as contained in section 94 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 Concerned that the remaining Members Elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly are compelled to submit letters of resignation with accompanying Court Affidavit by the Speaker as a condition for swearing-in which amount to a mockery of democracy at a period Nigeria is celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy

“The current situation, where some of the new Members were selected and sworn in by the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly while others have not been sworn in, contradicts the principles of fairness and justice that our electoral laws seek to uphold

“Disturbed that failure to address the delays or biases in the swearing-in of these new Members Elect is a total denial of the voices of other constituencies in Plateau State and undermines our commitment to justice, fairness, and the principles of democracy and poised a threat to security in the State.