Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly Gabriel Dewan says he has received a court order to recognize only eight members of the assembly. Mr. Dewan claimed that the 16 dismissed legislators, and the other 16 with certificates of return, were all claiming the seats.
The spokesperson made this disclosure when addressing journalists on Tuesday in Jos, following the resumption of the legislators’ long recess, after the Court of Appeal sacked 16 members elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the eight members were granted access to the temporary premises of the assembly, but the others were denied entry.
“There are currently 32 deputies claiming seats.
“Since all 32 members had their return certificates and are claiming their mandates, it would be illegal to admit them into the chambers.
“For now, only eight members will be seated. I have a court order preventing the House from taking possession of the 16 APC members.
“Yes, they have their return certificates issued by INEC, but they cannot be inaugurated until the final determination or suspension of the protection,” he said.
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NAN reports that there was a slight drama early on Tuesday, at Old Government Jos, the temporary venue of the assembly, after a police tear gas canister accidentally exploded.
Tear gas erupted as police personnel attempted to prevent supporters of the dismissed members from accessing the place where lawmakers were due to sit.
NAN also reports that security personnel have taken over the temporary assembly complex.