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Plateau Assembly Defies Court Order, Adopts Council Caretaker Committee List

From Agabus Pwanagba, Jos – Despite a court injunction restraining the Plateau State House of Assembly from adopting the correspondence containing the list of caretaker committee for the 17 local Councils of the state send to it by the State Governor, Simon Lalong, the House Tuesday went ahead and adopted it.

The communication which was read at the floor of the House, during the plenary session by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Peter Azi, was adopted by members through a voice vote.

The adoption of the list meant that the court injunction earlier served which permitted the ousted elected executives of the various councils to remain in office was disregarded.

It would be recalled that, since July 6, 2015, when Governor Lalong announced the dissolution of the executive and legislative arms in the 17 LGAs of the State, the Chairmen had secured injunction for them to remain in office until the decision of the court was made known.

However, disregarding the injunction, Governor Lalong, directed all Directors of Personnel Management in the 17 LGAs to take charge of the running of the councils.

He also ordered the Commissioner of Police through the various Divisional Officers and other security agencies to deny any elected officials access into the council Secretariats.

Similarly, the State Assembly has been embroiled with the crisis.

Reacting to the development, the PDP caucus in the Assembly led by the Majority Leader, Hon Daniel Dem, had rejected and condemned the action of the Speaker alongside other APC members in the House.

Dem who is representing Riyom Constituency, said the PDP members in the House were not in tandem with what happened and therefore, would not be part of any illegality.

He alleged that due process was not followed, therefore, constituting the caretaker committee was an aberration of the laws of the land.

”When the issue of the dissolution of the elected Chairmen was brought to the House, the Speaker said we shouldn’t discuss it since the matter was in court, and as lawmakers we oblige because we knew he was right.

”Even in the rule of the House that we are using, it states clearly that once a matter is before a court of law, we cannot discuss it at the floor of the House untill the decision of the Court is made known.

”In the first instance, the dissolution was against the law, and constituting a caretaker committee is the highest disregard for the rule of law.

”You saw what happened at the chamber, the Speaker didn’t allow us to discuss and even when a member tried raising an objection, he just over ruled, so, we are not part of it”, he maintained.


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