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Plateau Assembly crisis: New twist as 13 LP candidates seek fresh election

There is a twist in the Plateau State House of Assembly crisis as 13 candidates of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 state assembly…

There is a twist in the Plateau State House of Assembly crisis as 13 candidates of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 state assembly election have asked the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections in the state.

A spokesman for the 13 LP candidates and former state lawmaker from Shendam Constituency, Hon. Henry Yunkwap, in a statement in Jos yesterday said the demand followed the exclusion of LP logo on the ballot papers during the 2023 state assembly elections.

He explained that a Federal High Court in Abuja, has already invalidated the election, which excluded LP candidates on the ballot papers.

Yunkwap added that the delay in the swearing in of the 16 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers was not unconnected with the legal path being pursued by them.

Recall that the Special Adviser to the Plateau State governor on Strategic Communication, Timothy Golu, had told Daily Trust on March 19 that days before the scheduled swearing-in of new house members, two injunctions were served on the speaker, including one by LP candidates who were contesting for the same House of Assembly seats.

But reacting, the chairman of the LP in the state, Grace Zanfara, refuted the claim that a court injunction from a suit filed by candidates of the state house of assembly was delaying the swearing-in of new members of the APC.

Daily Trust reports that 15 members of the APC and one member of the LP who were declared winners of various state constituencies have not been sworn in despite intense pressure and legal threats by the APC on the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang and the speaker, Gabriel Dewang.

Yunkwap said, “The public is aware that there was exclusion of 13 candidates of the LP for the state assembly election on the ballot papers by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which led us to approach a Federal High Court in Abuja.

“The court of competent jurisdiction granted an order that no election should be conducted in the 13 Plateau State House of Assembly constituencies without the names of the LP candidates and anything short of that renders the election null and void.

“We are now in court seeking the enforcement of the original court orders, by asking INEC for fresh election in those 13 state constituencies.

“It is in line with this that we wrote through our lawyers to both the governor and the speaker of Plateau State to also obey the court Judgment by not swearing in those affected by this judgement who are among the 16 affected by the recent judgement delivered by the Appeal Court.”

Yunkwap confirmed to Daily Trust in Jos that his lawyers have successfully served the speaker of the house the court injunction, saying, “And I think that is why the 16 APC lawmakers have not been sworn in till this moment.

 

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