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Monday, May 27, 2024

Plateau Assembly Member Shut Down By Nigerian Police Over Speaker Crisis

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The Plateau State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has shut down the State House of Assembly as it sealed the Assembly complex over the ongoing crisis around the office of the Speaker.
A team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the assembly complex by 5a.m on Wednesday and barricaded the main entrance.
It was reported that though the state police command is yet to issue an official statement on the action, it gathered that the sealing of the Assembly complex is not unconnected to the crisis among members of the house of assembly over the impeachment and reinstatement of the House Speaker, Hon Abok Ayuba, Daily Trust reports.
Recall that the Plateau State House of Assembly became divided into two factions, with one faction being loyal to the current Speaker, Rt. Hon Yakubu Sanda, while the other faction is loyal to the reinstated Speaker, Ayuba who was impeached in October 2021.
Ayuba was impeached by some members of the assembly in a sitting held between 6a.m and 7a.m on October 18, 2021, and was immediately replaced with the member representing Pengana Constituency, Sanda.
But Ayuba challenged his impeachment at the State High Court where he sought a declaration that the procedure adopted for his impeachment was in violation of the provisions of Section 92 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Order 7, Rule 14 of the Plateau State House of Assembly Rules 2021 and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
Ayuba further sought a declaration that his removal as speaker by the votes of less than two-thirds majority or 16 members of the Plateau State House of Assembly was in violation of the provisions of Section 92 (2) (c} of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Order 7, Rule 14 of the Plateau State House of Assembly Rules 2021 and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
On Monday, the court declared the impeachment of Ayuba as illegal, null and void and the presiding Judge, Justice M. L. Musa, of Court 6, ordered immediate reinstatement of Ayuba.
The court also awarded the sum of N20m as cost of appearance and the sum of N138,000 as cost of filing the matter against the defendant (House of Assembly).
But the Majority Leader of the House and House Committee Chairman on Information, Hon Nanlong Daniel, had reportedly said that “After the impeachment of the former speaker, the house declared his seat vacant, which meant he was no longer a member of the house and could not benefit from the judgment.
“In any case, the house is not even aware of the judgment, and we have not been served. We are just hearing the news as a rumour. Whenever we are served, we will react to it.
“But for now we are not aware of the judgment. We have respect for the judiciary, and we have the option to appeal the case whenever we are served. But for now we don’t believe there is any judgment against the house.”

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