Arising from it’s 141st meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) held at the National Secretariat, Abuja on Monday 29th January, 2024 the All Progressives Congress has issued an ultimatum to the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Gabriel Dewan to swear in the 16 Members of the house of Assembly as ruled by the Court of Appeal immediately without any further delay.
In a press release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Barr Felix Morka, the party “denounced the refusal of the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly to swear in 16 APC House Members adjudged by the Court of Appeal as the duly elected members of the Plateau State House of Assembly.” The party describes ” the intransigence of the Speaker and the Governor of the state in this matter is wrong, undemocratic and violently contemptuous of the authority of the Court of Appeal, the highest court for the determination of election petition matters as it concerns the House of Assembly”
It will be recalled that 16 PDP legislators were sent packing from the State House of Assembly in November by the Court of Appeal in a judgement that deemed PDP as not having validly nominated candidates for the election. The Court of Appeal in ruling the case brought before it ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to the PDP House Members and issue them to the APC Members. The electoral empire has since complied with the judgement.
However, trouble started when the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgment that threw out Governor Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, ruling that PDP has validly nominated candidates. Hinging their slim hope of return to the House on the Supreme Court judgement, since their case was the same, the PDP House Members staged a return to the House of Assembly in January to resume sitting. They were however repelled by the security agencies.
The Speaker, House of Assembly addressing the press that day said the house was neither recognizing the PDP lawmakers nor the APC Members, saying 32 members were battling for 16 seats. The APC National Working Committee however warned the speaker and the governor who the party deemed as collaborating with the speaker to exhibit undemocratic and violent contempt of the Court of Appeal, being the highest court for the determination of State and National Assembly election petitions. Barr Morka continued that “In the interest of peace in the good state of Plateau” the party called for immediate administration of oath on the the members.