Reps’ seat tussle: Mubarak warns against misleading statement

Gambo Mubarak

The member representing Bali/Gassol Federal constituency in Taraba state Alhaji Abdulsalam Gambo Mubarak on Saturday urged a former member representing the same constituency Alhaji Garba Garba-Chede to stop misleading the public.

The incumbent house member alleged that Garba-Chede had claimed that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila conspired with some persons in government to stop his swearing in.

Garba-Chede had accused the Speaker of the House of Representatives of refusing to swear him in as the substantive member representing Bali/Gassol Federal constituency in Taraba state after a Federal High Court in Jalingo gave a judgement of mandamus to that effect.

However, Mubarak said in an interview in with Journalists in Jalingo that he has already filed an appeal against the judgement and by law, he remained the member until he exhausts his options in line with the provisions of the law, which Garba-Chede had enjoyed earlier.

Mubarak said, “I think my brother Hon. Garba-Chede is being very economical with the truth. He is just trying to win sympathy of the public by weeping up cheap sentiments. In the first place, when the Court gave order for his vacation after it was determined that I was the duly elected member, I was not sworn in immediately. He remained on the seat until the decision of the Supreme Court.

“It beats my imagination that after the Supreme Court, which is the Court of the highest jurisdiction in this country gave a judgement, a federal High Court will come and dispute that judgement and say that he should be sworn in. In any case, I gave notice of appeal against the judgement within 24 hours.

“And so, his claim that the Speaker has refused to do the right thing is ridiculous. The electoral act states clearly that if the election tribunal or court, as the case may be, determines that a candidate returned as elected, was not validly elected, then if notice of appeal against that decision is given within 21 days from the day of the decision, the candidate returned as elected shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the election tribunal or court, remain in office until the determination of the appeal.”

Mubarak appealed to Garba-Chede to “respect the procedure and stop dragging the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the mud as Rt. Hon. Gbajamiamila was doing exactly what the law says.

“Garba-Chede is definitely aware of this provision because he was a beneficiary of the same provision only recently. It is therefore sad that rather than wait for the determination of the appeal, he is going around accusing the Speaker of the House of connivance with some people in the government including a personal Aide to the President to stop his swearing in.

“The Speaker is doing what the Constitution says and if he has confidence in the system that he is a beneficiary, he should please allow it to play out”, Mubarak said.

“Recall that after the party primaries in 2018, I won the ticket but unexplainably, the name of Garba-Chede who came third was sent to the party. I went to the Federal High Court that declared me as the rightful candidate of the APC in the election.

“Despite that, the certificate of return was issued to Garba-Chede and he was sworn in because he appealed the judgement.

“It was not until the Supreme Court ruled in my favor that he was asked to vacate the seat and I was sworn in.”

Earlier, Alhaji Garba-Chede told journalists in Abuja that “the Federal High Court has granted an order that I should be sworn in as a member representing Bali/Gassol Federal Constituency, but I am yet to be sworn in.

“Though the order is the order of mandamus which means the order mandates the Speaker to swear me in.

“I am surprised that the Speaker disobeyed Court judgement and I doubt much how he will make law and disobey the law at the same time.”

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