•I’ve court injunction – Speaker

From Jude Owuamanam, Jos

There was drama at the old Government House, venue of the sitting of the Plateau State House of Assembly, yesterday as the Speaker, Gabriel Dewan, insisted that only eight members would be allowed to resume legislative duties. He prevented the 16 PDP lawmakers that were sacked by the Court of Appeal and the 16 APC members that were declared winners by the same Court of Appeal, from entering the legislative chambers.    

The House had resumed, following a long recess after the Court of Appeal sacked 16 members of the PDP.

The members could not resume at the House of Assembly because it has been under renovation.

The sitting was only brief, but the speaker, who spoke to newsmen said that currently 32 members are laying claim to the 16 vacant seats.

According to him, since the 32 members had their certificates of return and are laying claim to their mandates, it would be unlawful to admit them into the chambers.

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Moreover, he said he had a court injunction restraining him from inaugurating the 16 APC members.

He said: “For now, only eight members will be sitting. I have a court injunction restraining the House from inaugurating the 16 APC members. Yes, they have their certificates of return issued to them by INEC, but they can’t be inaugurated until the final determination or vacation of the injunction.”

He, however, did not disclose who instituted the suit.

Indeed, the atmosphere at the Government House venue of the sitting was tense as the PDP lawmakers who had arrived for the day’s sitting as they earlier promised, stayed outside the gate with their supporters.

However, at a point, the atmosphere within the area was fouled by the smell of teargas; a development our correspondent gathered was not deliberate as the teargas went off from one the policemen in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The situation was eventually brought under control as the police took over the environment, while the eight lawmakers drove off in a white bus towards the direction of the Government House.