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January 23, 2024
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Breaking: Police use tear gas on 16 ousted Plateau PDP lawmakers

Armed policemen deployed tear gas on Tuesday to disperse the 16 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Plateau State House of Assembly who had been ousted by the Court of Appeal.

The lawmakers, accompanied by their supporters, gathered at the Rayfield Old Government House in Jos, intending to resume plenary. However, security personnel took control of the Government House premises, blocking the sacked lawmakers from entering the Assembly chambers. Despite this, the ousted legislators refused to vacate the premises.

Meanwhile, the unaffected lawmakers, comprising seven APC members and one YPP member, were permitted entry into the legislative chambers.

Addressing journalists after the session, Speaker Gabriel Dewan highlighted that the State Assembly had officially resumed legislative duties. He expressed readiness to provide legislative support to the government of President Bola Tinubu and the Executive Governor of Plateau state.

When asked about the fate of the 16 sacked PDP lawmakers, Speaker Dewan refrained from interpreting the law, citing an ongoing court process. He explained that there were 16 vacancies, with 32 members claiming them, and the Assembly would await the court’s determination before deciding on the next course of action.

Reacting to the speaker’s stance, the leader of the 16 sacked PDP lawmakers, Maren Ishaku, expressed satisfaction and led his members away, stating they would await the rightful determination of the vacant seats.

Notably, members of the APC, beneficiaries of the Court of Appeal judgment, did not attend the plenary session. APC spokesman Sylvanus Namang defended their absence, citing adherence to legislative process. He accused the PDP lawmakers of unnecessary interference, describing their actions as self-help and detrimental to the Plateau state government.

Namang emphasized the need to curb desperation, asserting that adherence to the law was crucial for all citizens.

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