The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State on Monday raised alarm over tension in the State House of Assembly, following the purported impeachment of the Speaker of the House, and the apprehension in Langtang North LGA, where the incumbent chairman has not been allowed to settle in office despite a Court judgment.
Also, the embattled Chairman of Langtang North LGC, Joshua Laven said the action of the State Government has raised serious tension in the Council, saying it took the intervention of the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Bartholomew Onyeka to stem the tide in the Council, if not there would have been a crisis.
Recall that the State House of Assembly has been in crisis since the impeachment of Abok Ayuba from his position as Speaker by 8 members over a week ago.
Recall that Laven contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Amos Nanloh for the chairmanship seat of Langtang North local government in 2018 and the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) declared Nanloh elected and he was sworn in.
However, Laven went to court where the election was ruled in his favour and he was sworn in as duly elected chairman on October 9, 2019, for the period of three years.
But after spending two years in office, PLASIEC declared his seat vacant by an advertisement in the media which led Laven to approach the Court.
Delivering his judgment last Tuesday, Justice Ishaku Kunda of the State High Court, asked Laven to resume office immediately without delay to complete his three-year tenure which terminates on 9th October 2022 as he took an oath of office on the 9th of October, 2019.
Kunda described the whole scenario where Laven was stopped from completing his tenure as an act of “impunity, illegality and executive rascality which must end forthwith”.
The Judge said, “Laven’s tenure cannot be arbitrarily aborted before his tenure elapses.
“The election held thereof (9th October, 2021) was a nullity. Laven shall go back to the local government to complete his tenure as the Executive Chairman of the council. I hold and warn that the defendant (PLASIEC) should not disobey this judgement.”
Briefing journalists at the party secretariat in Jos, the PDP state chairman, Chris Hassan, said, “It is regrettable that, as a lawyer, Governor Lalong has embraced impunity and is conducting himself like a bull in a China Shop.
Hassan said, “Lalong is orchestrating this breach of the law and desperation in Langtang North barely over a week after he sponsored seven members of the State House of Assembly to commit illegality in the name of impeaching the Speaker.
“The PDP will continue to explore the instrumentality of the law against the brazen desperation and lack of direction of the APC led administration in our dear State”, he stressed.
Also speaking, the State Legal Adviser of PDP, Barr. Binchen Jamtur, said, “”Despite Justice Ishku Kunda’s declarative judgment reinstating Hon. Joshua Laven as chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council, Governor Lalong has continued to use his agents and cronies to obstruct the course of justice and forcefully aid the ousted APC candidate to remain in office as chairman.
“Justice Kunda’s judgment granted the applicant five reliefs, and summarily indicated that judgment is declarative, meaning Hon. Laven is restored to his office with immediate effect, without any procedures or protocols associated with executionary judgment.
According to him, “Lalong is wilfully ignoring to create a crisis of legitimacy and identity of leadership in Langtang North and precipitate confusion and possible bloodshed”.
In his remarks, Joshua Laven, commended the newly posted Commissioner Police in the State, Batholomew Onyeka, saying, “He moved quickly to seal the Local Government Secretariat to avoid a clash of between the two parties which may have led to bloodshed.
“However, we want the world to know that if there is any breakdown of law and order, Governor Lalong should be held responsible”, he stressed.