Rt. Hon. Gabriel Dewan, the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, has stated that he will not recognise 16 Court of Appeal-ordered APC members, emphasising that he will only recognise eight of the house’s 24 MPs.
Dewan stated this while speaking to reporters in Jos following the Supreme Court’s decision, which criticised the Court of Appeal’s orders to nullify the election of PDP members and replace them with APC members.
Dewan proclaimed the 16 opposition APC members persona non grata outright, saying, “As it stands now, only eight members are recognised in the assembly.”
It should be noted that Dewan, the single member of the Young Peoples Party (YPP-Pankshin North), took up the post of speaker following the Appeal Court’s dismissal of the 16 members elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
The Appeal Court had controversially sacked the 16 PDP members on the grounds that the party lacked structure at the time of their nomination, making them ineligible candidates. The court then directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw their certificates of return and issue them to All Progressives Congress (APC) members.
The Supreme Court in a verdict, delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, on Friday, in Abuja, nevertheless reprimanded the appellate court, adding that the sack of the 16 PDP members was a miscarriage of justice.
Agim contended that the APC and its candidate had no authority to engage in the internal affairs of another political party and annulled the earlier sacking of Gov Caleb Mutfwang by the Court of Appeal.