Katsina APC Reps exchange blows over court judgment


THE House of Representatives chamber was thrown into confusion on Wednesday as some Kastina lawmakers engaged themselves in free for all over November 1 Appeal court ruling which faulted the retrieval of Certificates of Return of 10 lawmakers from the state and issuance of new ones to another set of lawmakers from the state who were presently occupying lawmaking position in the National Assembly.

Nigerian Tribune recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on Friday fired two Senators and eight House members from Katsina state, who got their seats after those occupying the positions were sacked by the Independent National Electoral Commission in December 2011.

The court had ordered that those sacked by INEC be reinstated and they are Senators Abdu Umar Yandoma and Ahmad Sani Stores; those from the House are:  Murtala Isa, Muntari Dandutse, Musa Salisu, Aminu Ashiru and Umar Adamu Katsayal, Muhammad Tukur, Tasi’u Doguro, and Abdu Dankama.

Those who are presently occupying the seats ordered by the court to be vacated are: Senators Abubakar Yar’adua and Hadi Sirika, those from the House are: Ahmed Babba Kaita, Salisu Salisco, Umar Abubakar, Salisu Daura, Isa Doro, Sani Mashi, Abbas Machika and Mansur Funtua.

Trouble started on Wednesday when one of those reportedly ordered by the court to be reinstated stormed the House and demanded that he should sworn in but was stopped by the present occupants in the House.

Some of the reported sacked lawmakers had noticed one of the eight “new” lawmakers who found his way into the chamber and was waiting for the leadership of the House to swear his group in. However, fight broke out when the current occupier of the seat engaged him in a free-for-all.

In the process of the fist cuff  the court-reinstated lawmaker had his clothes torn.

It, however, took the intervention of the Minority leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Honourable Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila and Deputy Minority Whip, Honourable Garba Datti before normalcy was restored.

To this end, they begged the court-reinstated lawmaker to step out of the chamber and allow the leadership of the House resolve the issue and subsequently took the ex-lawmaker along with some of his colleagues to a room for a meeting.
However, midway into the meeting, the aggrieved court reinstated lawmakers walked out of the meeting.

Speaking with newsmen after they staged a walk out, the court reinstated lawmakers accused the National Assembly leadership of politicizing their matter.

One of them, Mukhtari Dan-Dutse told newsmen that, “What is happening in this House is very unfortunate, the issue of Katsina 10 is very clear...The law has no barrier. After winning in the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal which faulted National Assembly and INEC for withdrawing our certificates, the appeal court has affirmed that judgment.

The court said very clearly that we should repossessed our seats, without any hindrance. INEC has no power to issue certificate of return without contesting an election”.

Another court reinstated  lawmaker, Tasi’u Doguro on his part claimed that, “This is the 13th time we are winning court cases against our opponents. We made sure that National Assembly and INEC were served copies of the judgement by Monday (November 4), stressing that, “there is a lot of political blackmail. Actually, what is happening now in National Assembly, this issue of favouratism is very dangerous. We don’t belong to (Aminu) Masari camp. Masari was a Speaker here. So they are doing him a favour. But that is very unfortunate”.

The Minority Leader, Honourable Gbajabiamila however  said that the House would do justice to the matter, saying, “The House will follow procedures, tradition and the law”.



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