A Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos has reinstated Abok Ayuba as Speaker of the state Assembly.
Members of the assembly impeached Ayuba on October 28, 2021.
Dissatisfied with the process that led to the impeachment of Abok, two members of the House, Gwottson Fom, member representing Jos South Constituency, and Tyem Pirfa Jinfa, member representing Langtang North North Constituency, approached the court to seek redress.
They sought, among other things, a declaration that the sitting of the Plateau State House of Assembly on October 28, 2021, between 06:00 a.m. and 07.00 a.m. is un-parliamentary and in violation of the provision of Order 6 rule of the state Assembly rules, and, therefore, unlawful, null and void.
The claimants also asked the court to declare that the procedure adopted for the removal of Ayuba was in violation of provisions of Section 92 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended and Order 7 Rule 4 of the state Assembly Rules 202, and, therefore, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
Another relief sought by the claimants are that the removal of the 1st Defendant, Ayuba, as Speaker of the state Assembly by votes of less than two third majority or 16 members of the House was in violation of provisions of Section 92 (2) (c).
Counsel to the claimants, Chuwang Paul, said the judge, having considered all prayers of his clients and the facts that the defendants did not defend any of the reliefs, sought or file anything to show they intend to defend the suit, granted all 10 reliefs sought by the claimants.
In delivering her judgement, Justice Nafisat Lawal Musa reinstated Ayuba as speaker of the state Assembly, while granting an injunction restraining the current Speaker, Yakubu Sanda, from parading himself as Speaker of the state Assembly.
The court ordered that the sum of N20 million be paid as exemplary damages to the claimants and went further to make a consequential order to the effect that all emoluments, salaries, bonuses and allowances of the re-instated Speaker be paid him from October 28, 2021 till the expiration of his term as Speaker.
Shortly after delivery of the judgement, the reinstated Speaker made an appearance at the state Assembly complex.
Speaking to journalists, he said: “We are here in the premises of the House of Assembly, because all of us were elected to represent our constituencies.
“We still have some months left for us to continue the assignment that was duly given to us by our constituencies.”