…Only 8 members legally recognised— Speaker
…Governor declares 24-hour curfew
Armed policemen, on Tuesday, tear-gassed the 16 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Plateau State House of Assembly who were sacked by the Court of Appeal.
The lawmakers had arrived at the Rayfield Old Government House in Jos on Tuesday morning alongside their supporters preparatory to their resumption of plenary when the incident happened.
The policemen and other security operatives took over the premises of the Government House and prevented the sacked lawmakers from gaining access to the chambers of the House of Assembly, but the lawmakers vowed not to vacate the premises.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Dewan, the speaker of the state House of Assembly, has said he had a court injunction to recognise only eight members of the assembly.
According to Dewan, the 16 sacked lawmakers, and the other 16 with certificates of return, were all laying claim to the seats.
The speaker gave the clarification when he addressed newsmen in Jos, following the resumption of the lawmakers’ long recess.
The eight members gained access to the temporary premises of the assembly, but the others were denied entry.
“At present, there are 32 members laying claim to the seats. Since the 32 members had their certificates of return, and are laying claim to their mandates, it would be unlawful to admit them into the chambers.
“For now, only eight members will be sitting. I have a court injunction restraining the House from inaugurating the 16 APC members.
“Yes, they have their certificates of return issued to them by INEC, but they can’t be inaugurated until the final determination or vacation of the injunction,’’ he said.
Amid the brewing political tension and deteriorating security situation in the state, Governor Caleb Mutfwang has declared a 24-hour curfew on Mangu Local Government Area, with immediate effect.
Mutfwang announced the curfew after consultations with the relevant security agencies. He stated that only persons on essential duties were allowed to move within the local government area until further notice.
In a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday in Jos by Gyang Bere, his director of press and public affairs, the governor urged all citizens, especially residents of Mangu Local Government Area, to comply with the directive and assist the security personnel by providing reliable information to restore peace and order in the area.
He lamented that some people were still determined to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the state, despite the government’s efforts to end the activities of terrorist elements.