There was a fight in the Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday as 8 members from Katsina State who were reinstated last week by the Court of Appeal turned up to resume duties as legislators. They were however expelled from the chamber and prevented from taking their seats despite the force they put up as the fight was brought under control after a short while.
The lawmakers who were reinstated last week by Court of Appeal, who were sighted in the National Assembly on Wednesday, included Senators Abdu Umar Yandoma and Ahmad Sani Stores; as well as Honourables Murtala Isa, Muntari Dandutse, Musa Salisu, Aminu Ashiru and Umar Adamu Katsayal, Muhammad Tukur, Tasi’u Doguro, and Abdu Dankama.
The stand taken by the leadership of the House of Reps was that the eight reinstated members, all of who are from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPP) which has fused into the All Progressive Congress (APC) will only be sworn-in as members after the Supreme Court has decided on the matter.
Murktar Dan-Dutse, one of the reinstated members described the decision of the leadership of the House as a “conspiracy” to buy time. In his opinion, the decision of the court, being “declaratory” cannot be delayed while an appeal – in this case to the Supreme Court – is filed.
The reinstated members were sworn in as legislators in 2011 but their Certificates of Return were withdrawn in December 2011 by the Independent National Electoral Commission after a ruling of the Supreme Court.
The lawmakers challenged the withdrawal of the Certificates of Return in court and the court ruled that the House of Reps acted in error by swearing-in a new set of lawmakers.