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Factual Reportage

The 16 sacked Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have approached the Supreme Court on the matter following the dismissal of the application for the review of the judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked them from the assembly.

The lawmakers described the Appeal Court’s decision as a temporary setback.

Speaking on the matter, the former member representing Jos South constituency in the assembly, Hon Dalyop Fom said their counsel had applied to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and also written to the President of the Court of Appeal to set up a five-man panel for a review of the application as provided for by the law, but while they were still waiting to get a response from the Appeal Court President, the case was slated for review at the court under a three-man panel.

He said: “But getting to the court, our counsel, Chief. Garuba Pwul (SAN) met that it was a three-man panel, so he disagreed and refused to make any presentation to the panel because it was not properly constituted as it was supposed to be a five-man panel and not a three-man panel.

“The three-man panel on the other hand insisted that the case should be heard, but our counsel also refused, insisting that until a five-man panel was constituted according to law he could not make any presentation. So, the judges angrily went ahead to dismiss the case because they said our counsel was wasting their time. So, as far as we are concerned, our application for review has not been attended to.

“I want to clearly state here that the application for review was not dismissed because it lacks merit as reported by a section of the media; in fact, it has not even been presented before any panel. They also awarded a fine of N8 million each to the 16 lawmakers making a total of N128 million. But we have approached the Supreme Court on the matter because we believe the review panel must be properly constituted before our application can be taken.”

He said that there is an order restraining the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon, Gabriel Dewan from swearing in the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers with Certificates of Return that were given to them following the Court of Appeal ruling, adding that they cannot be sworn-in until the case is determined by the court.

The 16 lawmakers had approached the Court of Appeal to review its judgment based on a later judgment of the Supreme Court and possibly reverse its earlier judgment that sacked them.

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