Court fixes date to hear PDP’s suit seeking sack of Zamfara governor, deputy

3 weeks ago

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has fixed July 16 to hear a suit challenging the defection of Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date on Monday after listening to the ex-parte motion of the plaintiffs’ counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, praying the court for an order to serve the first and second defendants by substituted means through pasting the originating process at the Zamfara State Liaison Office in Abuja.

Justice Ekwo granted the prayer and adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit until July 16.

Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the state – Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed – had, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, asked the court to sack the governor and his deputy, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, over their defection which they claimed had made them illegible to continue to hold the positions.

Mr Matawalle, Mr Gusau, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are first to fourth defendants respectively, while the PDP is listed as a party to be joined in the suit.

The plaintiffs are contending that, in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court to the effect that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 Governorship Election in Zamfara, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Mr Matawalle and Mr Gusau to retain their offices while defecting from the PDP to the APC, and thereby transfer PDP’s victory to the APC.

They want the court to, among others, declare that Mr Matawalle and Mr Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection and enable INEC to conduct fresh elections within three months for the PDP to replace them.

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