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PDP drops suit against Zamfara deputy gov over alleged defection

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Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau

Asks Court To Sack Matawalle
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, in Abuja withdrew Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau, from a suit seeking to unseat him and Governor Bello Matawalle at the Federal High Court over alleged unlawful defection to another political party.

PDP lead counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), applied for withdrawal of the deputy governor’s name on the ground that there was no evidence of his defection.

In a motion to that effect, PDP also formally took over the case as the 1st plaintiff on the ground that the mandate being contested belonged to it.

Following a no-objection submission from other lawyers in the matter, Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo ordered the removal of Gusau’s name.

The Judge also ordered that PDP be made the plaintiff and directed the party to amend and file all its processes within seven days. He subsequently fixed September 29, 2021 for mention of the suit.

At the proceedings, Governor Matawalle was represented by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) while another legal luminary, Alhaji Ahmed Raj (SAN) stood for the All Progressive Congress (APC). Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Tanimu Inuwa, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

PDP is praying the court to sack the governor over his defection to APC.

The request forms part of the reliefs being sought in a suit earlier filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed.

The plaintiffs are contending that, in view of an earlier judgment 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 while defecting from PDP to the APC, and thereby transferring PDP’s victory to the APC.

They want the court to, among others, declare that Matawalle must resign from his office before his defection to allow INEC to conduct fresh election within three months for the PDP to replace him.

Last Monday when the legal battle was kick-started through ex-parte motion argued by Agabi, Justice Ekwo granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the governor through APC national secretariat.
Matawalle had two weeks ago defected from PDP to APC which prompted the move by PDP to claim its mandate from him through court action.


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