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Why Seven APC Members Of Plateau Assembly Were Not Sworn In – Speaker

Posted by Amarachi on Sat 13th Apr, 2024 -

According to Dewan, the decision to exclude seven APC members from the swearing-in ceremony was due to incomplete procedural requirements on their part.

Plateau House of Assembly

Gabriel Dewan, the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, has explained why only nine out of sixteen All Progressives Congress (APC) members were reinstated by the Court of Appeal.

The judicial decision ousted sixteen members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who previously occupied these seats.

In an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Speaker Dewan addressed the controversy surrounding the partial swearing-in, which took place last week and has sparked significant backlash from the APC.

According to Dewan, the decision to exclude seven APC members from the swearing-in ceremony was due to incomplete procedural requirements on their part.

“The seven members are yet to complete the necessary procedures needed before they could be sworn in,”
Dewan stated, emphasizing that the decision was not politically motivated but was strictly procedural.

He said, “Sometime in November, there was a pronouncement in the court that 16 of my members have been removed by the Court of Appeal. A pronouncement in the court is different from the procedures in the House.

“I wasn’t in the court, I heard it on air that 16 members have been removed. There is no communication to me from the INEC or the CTC of the judgement for me to be sure that truly those members have been removed or anything.

“And I was waiting for that proper thing to be done, what did I get? Sometime in January, a lawyer, one S.O Obende or so, wrote a letter to my office attached with 16 certificates of return of members and I replied back that Obende is not a member of my Assembly. If the court has declared members elect the members know the normal procedure to follow.

“The right thing to be done was for INEC to write to me as the Speaker directing me that based on this judgement, attaching the communication with the CTC of the judgement, that based on this judgement, we have been directed to withdraw the certificate of return from this honourable to these honourables. Therefore, we are directing you as the electoral umpire to recognise this person as your member, that was never done.”

The Speaker added, “Sometimes two weeks ago, I was told by those responsible for documentation in the House of Assembly that 9 members have submitted their certificates of return and have met all the requirements, and I said okay.

“So, I don’t know if the CTC copies of the other members are not ready. So, what was presented to me was what I recognised and I swore them in.”

Dewan maintained that only the presentation of the certificates of return and the CTC copies of the judgements by the remaining members would give him the authority to inaugurate them as members of the House of Assembly.

On the accusation by some members of the APC that he contemn a court order, Dewan challenged those accusing him, to sue him for contempt.

He also denied that his action was politically motivated, insisting that he was only ensuring that due process was followed.

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