The 16 sacked members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have approached the Court of Appeal, seeking to set aside the earlier judgement of the same court that nullified their elections.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal had nullified the election of all the PDP lawmakers in the State Assembly on the ground that their party lacked the structure to sponsor candidates in the election.
Believing that they have been vindicated by the Supreme Court’s judgement which affirmed the election of Governor Caleb Mutfwang, whose election was also nullified by the Court of Appeal, the Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers insisted that they must be reinstated.
The lawmakers, namely: Bala Fwanje Ndat and Datugun Paul Naankot, among others, in their motion on notice, with suit No: CA/J/33M/2024 and CA/J/31/M/2024, said under order 6 rules 1 of the Court of Appeal, 2021, they should be reinstated into the House.
This was part of the reliefs presented by their counsel, Garba Paul SAN, who argued that both the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter.
However, the sacked lawmakers said their ground as contained in the motions was predicated upon the fact that “the judgement of the Court delivered on the 24th day of November 2023, is a nullity.”
They are seeking “An order setting aside the decision of this Honourable court in appeal No. CA/J/EP/PL/SHA/62/2023, Dagogot Karyt Owen & Anor Vs Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), & Ors on 24th November 2023, per E.O Williams-Dawodu, Abdul-Azez Waziri and E.O Abang, JCA.”
They maintained that the Supreme Court judgement that validated the nomination and sponsorship of Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, suffices that the Court of Appeal should set aside its earlier judgement.
It would be recalled that the lawmakers resisted while attempting to return to the House of Assembly, a move that nearly triggered a political crisis in the state.
Meanwhile, the members of the APC who are beneficiaries of the Court of Appeal judgement are yet to be sworn in by the Speaker of the House, Gabriel Dewan Kudagbena, who hinged his decision on conflicting court orders.