NASS urged to intervene in non-swearing in of Plateau lawmakers

NASS urged to intervene in non-swearing in of Plateau lawmakers

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, has called on the National Assembly to urgently intervene in the non-swearing-in of some new members-elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly.

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 of 16 sitting members of the state House of Assembly.

The appellate court also ordered the issuance of Certificates of Return to the new members by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Relying on Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act of 2022, INEC issued the Certificates of Return to the new members in compliance with the order of the Appeal Court.

Wase said the members-elect of the state Assembly have met all the requirements of the law, as contained in Section 94 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

In a statement he signed and issued on Tuesday, the Deputy Speaker raised concerns that the remaining members-elect of the state Assembly are compelled to submit letters of resignation with accompanying court affidavit by the Speaker as a condition for swearing-in.

Wase noted that such an action amounts to a mockery of democracy at a period when Nigeria is celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy.

According to Wase: “Concerned that 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

“Disturbed that 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 poised a threat to security in the State.

“We urge the Leadership of the National Assembly to intervene and ensure that the remaining Members Elect of the Plateau State House of Assembly are sworn for the purpose of equity, fairness and justice.”

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