A sacked People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Lawmaker who represented Langtang North-North in Plateau State, Joseph Langyi, has said that he will not be leaving the state’s House of Assembly because he has to protect the mandate that was given to him by the voters of Plateau state who believe in him.
On Tuesday, the sixteen members of the Plateau State House of Assembly who were elected on the platform of the PDP, but sacked by the Court of Appeal, had threatened to resume the Assembly, saying they were the authentic members of the state Assembly, voted into office by the people of the state.
The removed lawmakers were however dispersed from the premises of the House by security agencies.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, Langyi spoke regarding the situation, saying that he is waiting on the judiciary to solve this issue as he will protect his mandate.
Langyi said, “This mandate was given to me by the majority of votes casted at the 2023 January election. And three people will just sit down there and decide to say that I’m no more the member. I have to protect the mandate given to me by my people, because they believe in me.
“Let me tell you, I won this election, out of 104 polling units, I won in 98 polling units. And you want to carry the mandate of over thousands of people and give it to somebody, even if it’s in one polling unit. I barely defeated him, he defeated me with 3 votes in his own polling unit, and he wants to take away the mandate of the majority of people and give it to somebody who they didn’t even vote for him? I think to me it’s not proper.
The former lawmaker then said that the sacked lawmakers have applied for the judgement but have not received a copy saying that they have been sacked from the parliament. And as such, there is nothing hindering them from going back to the House.
He said, “Based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, the judgement of the Appeal Court is a nullity because we are on recess and two judgements came in- one that all the National Assembly and State Assembly members that have been sacked by the Appeal Court, and a speedy judgement came in from the Supreme Court, which automatically has set aside the judgement of the Appeal Court, that gave us assurance to go back to the House yesterday (Tuesday).
“As I am speaking to you, I have not received any communication retrieving my certificate of return as the elected member representing my people. And based on that reason, I have the right to go back to the House even though I’ve approached the court trying to find a legal proper way in handling the matter. But the proper thing for us to do is to go back to the House.”
Langyi noted that the Supreme Court, which has the highest jurisdiction in the land, gave a judgement that “the appeal court did not even have the jurisdiction to entertain this matter. This matter is an abuse of court process, this matter is not even supposed to be in this court, and even the Supreme Court, they don’t even have the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.”
Langyi then revealed that before the elections, his nomination was challenged as it was said that he was not eligible to run for the membership seat as his party did not have a valid structure, after which he went to the Federal High Court and the Appeal Court where he (Langyi) won at both levels before going on to contest for the seat in parliament.
“We were there just to ask the judiciary to do the right thing, because we are representing our people, and we have to stand in for our people. That is why we were there yesterday, and the speaker has addressed us. We are waiting for the judiciary to do the right thing for us to govern and carry out our legislative functions,” he said.