June 17, 2024

The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate the circumstances surrounding the failure to swear in some newly elected members of the Plateau State House of Assembly.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing Wase Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Rep. Ahmed Wase, at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas.

While moving the motion, Rep. Wase noted that in 2023, the Court of Appeal, hearing appeals arising from judgements of the Plateau State Election Tribunal, made decisions which resulted in the nullification of Certificates of Return for 16 sitting members of the Plateau State House of Assembly and ordered the issuance of new Certificates of Return to the new members by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Recall that in line with the provisions of Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC issued Certificates of Return to the new members in compliance with the order of the Appeal Court and the law.

However, Wase noted that “The remaining members-elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly are being compelled by the Speaker to submit letters of resignation accompanied by court affidavits as a condition for their swearing-in,” stressing that “This act undermines the principles of democracy, especially at a time when Nigeria is celebrating 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance.”

According to him, “The current situation, where some of the new members were selected and sworn in by the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly while others have not been sworn in, contradicts the principles of fairness and justice that our electoral laws seek to uphold.

“The failure to address the delays or biases in the swearing-in of these new members-elect is a total denial of the voices of other constituencies in Plateau State and undermines our commitment to justice, fairness, and the principles of democracy, and poses a threat to security in the State.”

He urged the leadership of the National Assembly to intervene and ensure that the remaining members-elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly were sworn in for the purpose of equity, fairness, and justice.

When the motion was put to a voice vote, it was unanimously supported by members and was referred to the appropriate House Committee for further legislative action.

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