History was finally made in the house of Representative chambers on October 4th 2017 as speaker Yakubu Dogara finally swore in Hon Mrs Dorothy Mato several months after the Supreme court declared her the rightful owner of the seat occupied by two time Honourable, Herman Hembe, member representing vandeikya konshisha federal constituency of Benue state.
There was loud cry from all quarters about the delay in swearing Mrs Mato into the hallowed green chamber.
Mrs Mato had gone to the National Assembly several times but her hopes had constantly been dashed by the national Assembly, who himself is an APC member.
Hon Maureen Acka, a lawmaker from the Benue state House of Assembly, who reportedly spoke on behalf of Mato, after another futile effort at the National Assembly, wondered why Dogara was taking the action despite the fact that her friend met all the requirement to be sworn-in. She said: “They asked us to wait that they were coming and we all waited patiently, only for them to come out and nothing happened. Papers have been filled, and she has done all the things required of her. “This is really strange… I just pray and hope that this is not some kind of a game because it will not be right. We know the law. “I’m a member of the APC. I was in ACN before… she (Mato) is a honourable person.” Acka was suspecting a situation of gender discrimination against Mato.
The Supreme Court had also expressed displeasure over the reluctance of the leadership of the House to swear in Mrs. Dorothy Mato as Hembe’s replacement since it gave a judgement to that effect on June 23, 2017.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen also expressed the disappointment of the Court with the attitude of the House leadership over the Mato ruling.
He described the reluctance of the House to abide with the ruling as ” a very terrible paragraph in the history of the nation’s democracy.”