Defection: Court fixes date for PDP’s suit against Zamfara Gov, Matawalle
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday slated April 8 for adoption of final written address in a suit seeking to sack the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle from office, following his defection to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, which filed the suit before the court, accused the governor of illegally transferring its votes and mandate to the APC.
The party argued that Matawalle, having abandoned the party through which he ascended to power, have lost the ticket to remain in office.
The plaintiff, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, maintained that in view of an earlier judgement of the Supreme Court, to the effect that the APC had no candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle to retain his office since he has joined the APC.
It wants the court to, among others things, declare that Matawalle must resign to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct fresh governorship election within 90 days, to enable the PDP to replace him.
The plaintiff equally prayed the court to sack all the federal lawmakers and members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly that defected to the APC with the governor.
Meanwhile, at the resumed proceedings in the matter on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, stressed that the stage was set for final adoption of written arguments, since all the parties have filed and exchanged the necessary processes. Upon the final adoption of addresses, the court, will then fix a date for judgement.
Counsel to the PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, confirmed to the court that he had entered all his processes and served same on Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who represented Matawalle and 34 others. INEC and the APC were equally cited as Defendants in the suit. Justice Ekwo had before he adjourned the matter, warned that any counsel that failed to appear in court on the next date, would have his processes deemed adopted.