*Court’s stay of execution order stalls swearing in of Adigwu
By James Ibechi
Despite a Makurdi High Court verdict that recently sacked Mr. Mathew Ire from the Benue State House of Assembly for a replacement by his ach rival and Uwokwu brother Mr. Agi Michael Adigwu, which was thought to have brought an end to the prolonged crisis at Oju 11 state constituency, developments in the Assembly have suggested that the end is not yet in sight.
There was a rowdy session at the state Assembly on Thursday as some of the lawmakers kicked against the swearing in of Adigwu in line with the court judgement. The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Binta Nyako had, on July 8, sacked the member of the Assembly representing Oju II state constituency, Mr. Mathew Ire of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and directed that Mr Agi Michael Adigwu, also of the PDP be sworn in immediately.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had complied with the judgment and immediately issued a certificate of return to Adigwu, who was declared actual winner of the House of Assembly election. However, when the Assembly was to execute the court order Thursday, a disagreement ensued among the lawmakers on the matter.
While some said the new lawmaker should be sworn in as directed by the court, others said the Assembly should not execute the judgement so that the sacked lawmaker could appeal the case. The session almost ended in chaos as the lawmakers spoke in discordant tunes, but for the Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, who adjourned the siting to enable the Assembly investigate the matter.